The Event, the Messianic and the Affirmation of Life

  • Joris Vlieghe
  • Piotr Zamojski
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 11)


In this chapter we introduce the concept of educational love, and we give a first, general outline of an ontology of teaching that is subsequently developed throughout the book. We take Agamben’s and Badiou’s books on Saint Paul as the key point of reference. Our analysis shows that both can be regarded as profound educational thinkers. On the one hand, in his rendering of the Pauline usage of the notion of kairos, Agamben allows for understanding skholé, the essential educational arrangement of free time, as radically present, messianic time. On the other hand, Badiou’s transposition of Paul’s writings into his own original philosophical language allows for acknowledging that teachers create the conditions for this messianic time to emerge. More precisely, a teacher is to be understood in terms of what Badiou calls fidelity to the event – the event of falling in love with a subject matter. Badiou furthermore identifies this fidelity with the Pauline understanding of love (agape). Taking Agamben’s and Badiou’s discourses on Paul together we argue that teaching creates a slot of messianic time through an unconditional affirmation of the value of something in the world. We also argue that this particular, educational love should be distinguished from the classical as well as the usual understandings of this term.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joris Vlieghe
    • 1
  • Piotr Zamojski
    • 2
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.University of GdańskGdańskPoland

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