This image is the cover for the book Pilate and Jesus, Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics

Pilate and Jesus, Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics

The acclaimed philosopher’s penetrating analysis of Pontius Pilate offers provocative and original insight into Western conceptions of judgment and guilt.

Pontius Pilate is one of the most enigmatic figures in Christian theology. The only non-Christian to be named in the Nicene Creed, he is presented as a cruel colonial overseer in secular accounts, as a conflicted judge convinced of Jesus’s innocence in the Gospels, and as either a pious Christian or a virtual demon in later Christian writings. Starting with Pilate’s role in the trial of Jesus, Giorgio Agamben investigates the function of legal judgment in Western society and the ways that such judgment requires us to adjudicate the competing claims of the eternal and the historical.

Coming just as Agamben is bringing his decades-long Homo Sacer project to an end, Pilate and Jesus sheds considerable light on what is at stake in that series as a whole. At the same time, it stands on its own, perhaps more than any of the author’s recent works. It thus serves as a perfect starting place for readers who are curious about Agamben’s ideas and approach to philosophy.

Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben is a contemporary Italian philosopher and political theorist whose works have been translated into numerous languages. His most recent title with Stanford University Press is Opus Dei (2013).

Stanford University Press