Love for the World in Hannah Arendt’s Augustinian Politics


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Abstract

The impact of Augustine’s concept of love on Hannah Arendt is typically unacknowledged but illuminates and nuances her political thought. Arendt’s critique of consumer society is grounded in an Augustinian analysis of love misdirected away from God onto perishable earthly goods. The force of habit sustains the sin that causes this, but neighbour love may safeguard humans from sin. For Arendt, the interiority of faith serves as a model for the space for reflection and retreat that the private sphere provides and by which it sustains the political realm. Arendt’s concepts of action and natality have been subjected to theological and feminist critique but should be interpreted more relationally and materially. Arendt exposes the spiritual roots of all political action and reminds Christians of their political responsibilities to the world.


The secular Jew Hannah Arendt (1906–75) is typically regarded as a bohemian political philosopher who was inspired by classical Greece and Rome. This is evident as much in scholarship as in popular depictions like Margarete von Trotta’s superb 2012 film Hannah Arendt, in which Barbara Sukowa plays Arendt. Nevertheless, her 1929 doctoral thesis—published in English as Love and Saint Augustine by Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Stark—suggests that early inspiration lay in Augustine.[1] Although the bishop of Hippo remained an important, if frequently occluded, reference point through her intellectual life, many interpreters have either ignored him or downplayed his significance.

Four exceptions to this dominant neglect of Arendt’s Augustinianism have shaped my own interpretation. First, writing in 1987, the Jesuit Patrick Boyle drew out the Johannine inflection of Arendt’s anthropology of “being in the world but not of it.”[2] Nevertheless, Boyle insisted that “Arendt never writes theology” and that her thought is ontologically separated from Augustine’s: whereas Augustine grounded love and polity in God, Arendt, according to Boyle, did no such thing. Second, Ronald Beiner—who edited Arendt’s Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy—argued in 1997 that the genesis of her concern with worldliness lay not simply in the contingent political events of the 1930s and later, but in her prior engagement with Augustine.[3] Then, in 2008, two significant books were published. In Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship, Eric Gregory emphasized the Platonic tone of Arendt’s reading of Augustine, suggesting that this grounded her view of love as fundamentally otherworldly and therefore apolitical.[4] Stephan Kampowski, in Arendt, Augustine, and the New Beginning, stressed her dissertation’s contribution to key components of her political theory, including temporality, plurality, solidarity, and freedom.[5]

From her engagement with Augustine derives Arendt’s unfashionable but timely advocacy of responsible individualism. For Augustine, faith brought the believer to serious interior reflection, repentance of past sins, and the recognition of God’s call in their life. For Arendt, the summons to political speech and action demanded a stepping away from the mores and routines of social life in order to initiate a new beginning in the world and retrieve the capacity for individual action. As will be seen, Arendt thus views the private realm as necessary to the public realm, rather than straightforwardly inferior to it, in ways unrecognised by some of her feminist critics.[6]

Arendt on Love

While affirming much of the past work on Arendt and Augustine, I wish, in this present discussion, to go further. I will argue that Arendt’s understanding of citizenship as the responsible life lived in freedom alongside others closely corresponds with Augustine’s view that the obligation of Christians in the church is to love God and have regard for their neighbour. I will also suggest that Arendt’s construal of citizenship in these terms amounts to a conceptual transition in which she comes to view earthly political citizenship through the categories deployed by Augustine to describe Christians’ membership of the earthly church. I thus regard Arendt as more faithful to Augustine’s project than other theological commentators including Rowan Williams, who, as will be seen, considers that Arendt places excessive confidence in autonomous human action.

In the thesis itself, a governing motif is how and where love is directed. The thesis identifies earthly life with cupiditas (desire), which approaches earthly goods as objects of craving. However, such goods are perishable, meaning that cupiditas is associated with mortality, being towards death, and the fear of death. Heavenly life, in contrast, is identified with caritas (love of God), which seeks eternal goods. Unlike even faith and hope, caritas brings its own reward. Fearlessly pursuing its objects, caritas adopts an attitude to worldly goods based on use (uti) rather than on enjoyment (frui). As is well known, this is a key distinction in Augustine, who urges a considered disregard towards objects in the world, appropriating them only to the extent that they enable the enjoyment of higher, spiritual ends.

The diagnosis of misdirected love of the world underpins Arendt’s critique of the consuming and labouring society of the twentieth century. She develops this most clearly in her programmatic study The Human Condition. Consumption, like cupiditas, craves perishable objects, and, on attaining these objects, necessarily annihilates them. It cannot therefore bring the consumer true satisfaction, even though the illusion that such satisfaction may be secured is what drives consumer society. In this respect, consumption is the mirror image of labouring, which Arendt associates with the continuation of basic biological life rather than with the manufacture of an enduring product.[7] The characterizing paradox of consumer society is, for her, that people labour in order to consume, but are always seeking more to consume, and therefore need to labour even more in order to secure the means to acquire this. In Arendt’s terms, the problem is that consumer society is predicated not on the use of objects for higher purposes, but on their enjoyment as if they were spiritual ends in themselves. Today we may see the news media, and especially social media, as iterating the logic of consumer society in the blatant ephemerality of their immediately outdated products.

Action, in contrast, is directed toward eternal goods and so is its own end, being existentially grounded and constituting a new beginning within the otherwise ongoing routine of life. Like caritas, action uses worldly objects rather than enjoying them, and its political, social, and moral objects ends have value in themselves.[8] In practice, what kind of people truly act? One such character type that fascinated Arendt as biographer was the pariah, especially two Jewish women, the writer Rahel Varnhagen and the Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg.[9] She viewed such figures as secular saints: disruptors who, although by no means flawless, chose to stand out against society by either confessing, or witnessing to death, to values other than those that most of it members had come to accept. The parallels with Christian sainthood are clear, even if Christian saints as Arendt viewed them were more likely to flee from the world than to work to change it.

Arendt on Augustine

For Arendt, as for Augustine, there is a proper worldliness to earthly living. During the span of their earthly life, humans inhabit the world but are not entirely of it, being destined for a home elsewhere. The tension that characterizes earthly life is played out in the internal conflict in the soul between cupiditas and caritas. For Augustine in The City of God, this tension is not primarily exhibited in institutional conflict, such as between church and state. Rather, cupiditas and caritas are two distinct impulses, as intermingled in practice as they are separate in nature. Both the church and the state should order their affairs according to God’s will. Each to some extent succeeds, and each sometimes fails. This helps us see what Arendt has in mind when she advocates love of the world. A Jew who fled Germany, spent seven years in France, then emigrated to the United States, she possessed the strong conviction that the world can never be one’s true or enduring homeland. Nonetheless, it can and should be preserved as a place where humans may dwell during their life’s natural span. This is done when objects in the world are appropriately used, and thereby ordered, according to political, social, and moral ends that are undetermined by the imperatives of consumption or labour.

Further, for Arendt, failure to use worldly objects appropriately, and thereby truly to love the world, is the result of habit, which she identifies in Augustine as consuetudo. Habit preserves the world founded in covetousness and is therefore sin’s principal source, even more so than desire. Arendt quotes Augustine’s avowal in the Confessions 8.5 (12) that the “law of sin is the force of habit, by which the mind is dragged along and held fast, even against its will, but still deservedly so, since it was by its will that it slipped into the habit.”[10] Part of Augustine’s description of the internal conflict he experienced between the impulses of the law and of sin, this passage relates that sin is not simply a succession of independently bad choices due to misdirected desire, but sedimented in the soul through time. Building on Augustine, Arendt identifies habit as putting sin in control of life. She writes that “through habit the man has already yielded to the temptation of turning the world into one defined by those who love it,” endorsing Augustine’s identification of habit as realizing in humans a manufactured “second nature.” This estranges them from their true motivations and desires. Notably, Arendt justly argues that, for Augustine, “sin springs more from habit than from passion itself, because the world founded in covetousness is consolidated in habit.”[11] People seek a secure existence, she continues, and habit, by making today and tomorrow the same as yesterday, delivers this only superficially.

Augustine’s and Arendt’s appraisals of habit starkly differ from that of Aristotle, for whom habit made an important contribution to shaping and preserving virtue. By training, Aristotle thought, I might develop good habits that make it more likely, not less likely, that I will act well in future. The belief that virtues acquired and nurtured over time will contribute to the building of a stable society is prominent in current communitarian approaches to secular and Christian polity in the wake of Alasdair McIntyre and Stanley Hauerwas. Yet Arendt suggests that, to preserve the world in dark times, we need perspectives and actions that are weirder, more disruptive, and novel.

Arendt’s discussion of Christian neighbour love reflects her own sense of rootlessness in the world. Desire, as has been seen, connects the lover with their object, and often too closely. Yet neighbour love, for Arendt, being the corollary of the love of God and directed outwards to potentially anyone, has the effect of isolating the lover, whose status derives from being a creature also loved by God, rather than directly loved by another. For this reason, neighbour love founds a plurality of individuals, not a homogeneous collective. From an historical perspective, it anticipates the relationships between citizens in liberal societies and is closer to classical understandings of community than is usually recognized. Neighbour love establishes the interdependence of social life but also its necessary independence, existing between biologically and politically free individuals.

For Augustine, the society of believers is for mutual support against sin and to witness to outsiders. It is grounded not in an existing reality but in a future possibility. He writes:

Now God, our Master, teaches two chief precepts: that is, love of God and love of neighbour. In these precepts a man finds three things which he is to love: God, himself, and his neighbour; for a man who loves God does not err in loving himself. It follows, therefore, that he will take care to ensure that his neighbour also loves God, since he is commanded to love his neighbour as himself. . . . And, to the same end, he will wish his neighbour to do the same for him, if he should have need of help. In this way, he will be at peace with all mean as far as in him lies: there will be peace among men which consists in well-ordered concord. And the order of this concord is, first, that a man should harm no-one, and, second, that he should do good to all, so far as he can. In the first place, therefore, he must care for his own household; for the order of nature and of human society itself gives him readier access to them, and greater opportunity of caring for them.[12]

Augustine here shows the mutuality of neighbour love as well as its wider political implications. Strikingly though, he also affirms aspects that, in Arendt, are often associated with her classical inheritance. Two may here be outlined. First, my love of neighbour requires love of myself, on which neighbour love is in some sense modelled. From this perspective, I am my own neighbour. Augustine does not advocate self-pity nor self-abnegation, but a mutually reinforcing relation of self-love and neighbour love. This provides some corrective theological context to what may be taken to be Arendt’s classical and aristocratic exaltation of the confident, self-sufficient human as the ideal citizen, such as in her praise of Machiavelli for identifying the aims of political action as the acquisition of power and glory.[13]

The second classical aspect of Arendt that may be viewed in an Augustinian light is the household. As a citizen, I rightly attend to and build up my own household first, and from there may act into the wider world. Arendt is sometimes taken to maintain an unfashionably rigid distinction between private and public life, such as when she presents consumer society as characterized by the appearance in public of activities (such as labouring, eating, and sex) that, being concerned with basic biological functioning, have traditionally been viewed as shameful and therefore banished to the hidden, private sphere. In contrast, Arendt rightly regards the public sphere as a place, indeed the place, of debate, citizenship, and free decision-making. Actors, if they are to contribute to sustaining this fragile realm of freedom, need to give to it rather than take from it. This presupposes that they act into it from a standpoint from which basic biological needs are met.[14] However, from Arendt’s celebration of the public realm it does not follow that the private realm, which is the realm of the household, is worthless. On the contrary, Arendt regards a properly demarcated private realm as a precondition for a strong public realm. Privacy, which is rooted in personal space and possessions, shelters and protects inner subjectivity. “The four walls of one’s private property,” Arendt writes, “offer the only reliable hiding place from the common public world, not only from everything that goes on in it but also from its very publicity, from being seen and being heard. A life spent entirely in public, in the presence of others, becomes, as we would say, shallow.”[15] Some things should be shown, whereas others are rightly hidden.

For Arendt, as for Augustine, common living demands a radical, total response, with faith dissolving the bonds that previously tied citizens, whether of the earthly city or the heavenly city, to the world. With Augustine, this dissolution forms the Church through the bond of love that unites Christians with God. The same dissolution also founds legitimate secular political rule, which is also divinely ordained and so should promote justice rather than the private pursuit of base wants and desires. Arendt reminds us of aspects of Augustine that might be overlooked, maybe even by the man himself in his more introspective moments. Augustine, in turn, corrects the classical notion of the world as eternal, reminding Arendt of its fragility. Moreover, while both write in times of political crisis—whether the dissolution of the Roman Empire, or the collapse of Weimar Germany—from an intellectual standpoint their work is never merely a response to crisis but emerges from deeper and prior commitments. Arendt provides a model for responsible secular politics. Political action protects the fragile world from corruption, discloses higher values than the merely empirical, inaugurates new and deeper understandings of truth, and ushers new realities into being. It depends on citizens being undetermined by the mores of consumption or labour and exercising contemplative freedom.

Action and Natality

Arendt’s doctoral thesis on Augustine provides a convenient starting point for translating her thought into political theology. However, some have called into question the notion that Arendt is an Augustinian. For those wishing to read her as a secular political theorist, any association with the Christian bishop, theologian, and preacher needs to be minimized. This is understandable, and these interpreters require no detailed discussion here. Of greater interest is the critique by politically-engaged theologians that Arendt ignores essential elements of Augustine’s thought and is therefore not truly an Augustinian.

Such a case is powerfully articulated by Rowan Williams in his appraisal of the insubstantiality of evil. Comparisons have rightly been drawn between Augustine’s Plotinian view of evil as a deficiency of good and Arendt’s notion of evil as banality.[16] For Arendt, the banality of evil was clearly confirmed at the trial of the Nazi war bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann, who in the courtroom did not present as a genocidal maniac but as a diligent administrator keen to obey and impress his superiors. However, Williams avers that, in in her stand against banality, Arendt ignores the human propensity to sin and thereby overstates humans’ capacity to preserve and save the world by their own efforts. He writes: “For Arendt, the priority is to overcome the passivity . . . that allows atrocity to flourish by positive political association and action.”[17] Continuing, Williams endorses Charles Mathewes’ assessment that both Augustine and Arendt demystify evil such that it demands a practical response, but suggests that, in the case of Arendt’s “basic and prosaic political activism,” this response is the product of free human agency grounded in the actualization of the individual will. For Arendt, this conviction about how evil may be combatted was grounded in her observation of totalitarianism in its equally appalling fascist and communist forms. Williams rightly stresses the importance that she places on beginnings, in contrast with the corrupt conformity that she saw in totalitarian societies. Nonetheless, he argues that she overemphasizes humans’ capacity to initiate anything truly new within a world in which we cannot extricate ourselves from projects and events that are always already in progress.

Being a secular Jew, Arendt viewed Christian theology from the perspective of an outsider, identifying it with scholastic systematizing, as did other philosophers of her generation like her teacher and lover, the ex-seminarian Martin Heidegger. She clearly misunderstood key aspects of Christian, and specifically Augustinian, attitudes to earthly life, too easily inferring a Platonic disengagement from the world in favour of ecclesial, and ultimately heavenly, life. Arendt sees Augustine engaged in the “main political task of early Christian philosophy” of seeking a bond between people “strong enough to replace the world,” and settling on love.[18] She commends the functionality of his solution, “because the bond of charity between people, while it is incapable of founding a public realm of its own, is quite adequate to the main Christian principle of worldlessness and is admirably fit to carry a group of essentially worldless people through the world.”[19] Arendt continues that this worldlessness is predicated on the “assumption that the world will not last.” Christian worldlessness sharply contrasts with the classical belief in the world’s eternity and the possibility of immortalizing human deeds within the world by memorialization.

In Arendt’s view, Augustine’s concern with desire is properly philosophical rather than theological. She contends that, when Augustine “defines love as a kind of desire, he hardly speaks as a Christian.”[20] On Arendt’s own account, she thus views herself as closer to Augustine than to the wider Christian tradition as she understands this. Her implication that Christian love is, in contrast, disinterested and dispassionate is likely to find fewer sympathizers today than when she wrote, with interest in gender, the body, and emotions all impelling theologians to take desire seriously.

In advocating love for the world, Arendt embraces human belonging in the world. As Charles Mathewes emphasizes, she sees the public realm as a shared space in which successful political action requires collaboration with others.[21] That action is, for Arendt, always action in concert is confirmed by her presentation of forgiveness and promising as two paradigmatic types of action.[22] Whereas labour is concerned with sustaining basic biological function through providing food, warmth, shelter, and other basic needs, and work is determined by its specific ends, such as the manufacture of a piece of equipment, the products of action are less tangible and its scope is potentially limitless. For Arendt, only action is capable of effecting genuine political or societal change.

Arendt has often been viewed as privileging action over labour and work, associating the public realm with agonal striving and regarding it as the preserve of those with a robustly independent and even aristocratic spirit. Bound up with this assessment of action and the public realm is her concept of natality, which she uses to designate the human capacity to effect new beginnings. This has already been noted as part of the critique by Williams, who draws on Mathewes and broadly endorses his analysis. While recognizing the participatory character of natality as a wellspring of action, Mathewes ultimately censures Arendt’s “principle of beginning” on the grounds that it “ends in a dubious voluntarism which cripples both her appreciation of the full complexity of politics and limits the usefulness of her proposed response to evil’s challenges,” distancing her from “human life as an integrated whole.”[23]

In fact, it is precisely her concept of natality that prevents Arendt falling into what Mathewes portrays as an anarchist Pelagianism of action. As John Kiess highlights, she adopts the natality motif in conscious rejection of Heidegger’s privileging of mortality. This enables her to respond to the finitude of worldly living with gratitude rather than resentment.[24] Moreover, in the opening chapter of The Human Condition, she allies natality just as much with the other two elements of her tripartite schema of human relating to the world. “Labour and work, as well as action, are also rooted in natality,” Arendt writes, as these “provide and preserve” the world for all who come into it.[25] Moreover, at the close of the chapter on action she presents natality in its context of childbirth using the “glad tidings” of Scripture that “a child has been born unto us.”[26] Placing natality into its obvious but curiously ignored context of birth and parenting shows that action, far from floating free of labour and work, depends on them and is inseparable from them. Indeed, Arendt’s concept of natality suggests that the public realm stands in a symbiotic relation with the private realm, rather than being superior to it. Although in his Republic, Plato segregated labourers, workers, and political actors, taking natality seriously means recognizing that the same people may, at different times and to differing extents, be all three.

This reconciliation of action with labour and work via the category of natality opens the way to a view of the political that is more deeply rooted in human community than Arendt is typically credited with. For example, Thomas Breidenthal, whom Williams also cites, suggests that for her, “the doctrine of the Incarnation chiefly signifies the means of rescuing humankind from political interaction.”[27] In fact, the doctrine of the incarnation should remind us that Jesus was born into an artisan family in which labour and work were omnipresent and provided the possibility of action.

Church and World?

In the third part of her thesis, Arendt offers a detailed and positive exposition of social life. The society modelled by the church is grounded neither in an absolute distancing from the neighbour, nor in an indifferent living alongside the neighbour. Neither is this society founded on a simple shared belief in God: as Arendt reminds us, even the unbeliever is a neighbour.[28] Although the attitude she presents is at root Christian, she thereby signals that the community she has in mind extends beyond the visible church. This community is grounded in a paradox resulting from two historical facts. The first is the death of Christ for the whole world, which, Arendt states, issues in a faith in Christ that “takes man out of the world, that is, out of a certain community with men.”[29] The second fact is “common descent from Adam,” which, she continues, founds a “definite and obligatory equality among all people” in a “kinship beyond any mere likeness” based on the shared fate of mortality, which comes to be recognized as stemming from original sin. This kinship is “conferred with birth,” attaches to everyone, and establishes equality among all humans as they recognize themselves to be members of a “community-in-sinfulness” in which “each belongs to everyone.”[30]

How is this equality founded? Because the earthly community traced back to Adam is prior to the ecclesial community founded by Christ, sin precedes any free choice. It cannot therefore characterize some groups or communities but not others. Arendt describes the neighbour in striking terms as the “constant reminder of one’s own sin” and a “living warning of pride.”[31] The neighbour may appear to me “either as one in whom God has already worked his grace and who is thus, for us, an occasion not only to love but to pay homage to grace,” or as “one still entangled in sin” and so “nothing but what the Christian was and would still be but for the grace of God.” Equality in sin thus becomes also an “equality of grace.” Due to past sin the believer cannot live in isolation, being able to act only with or against others.[32] Solitude is therefore sinful because it eliminates the possibility of change. Instead, in the social life of Christ, humans are called to mutual love.

Up to this point, Arendt’s exposition of Augustine could be read as providing a strongly theological model of social life. Yet close to the end of her exposition, she highlights that, unlike other loves, the love of neighbour is indirect, being grounded in the individual’s awareness of their “own danger that is experienced in conscience in God’s presence, that is, in absolute isolation.”[33] In short, neighbour love is grounded in faith. Arendt continues: “I never love my neighbour for his own sake, only for the sake of divine grace.” For this reason, neighbour love is imitative, reflecting Christ’s saving love for the world, rather than directly elicited by the presence or actions of the neighbour themselves.

At a time when the Christian community is so often viewed as the locus of faith and action, the notion that there is an appropriate separation between its members, let alone that Christians hold their faith primarily as individuals rather than collectively, may seem obtuse. Individualism is typically regarded as part of the malaise of late modernity, to be overcome by socialized identities and projects. In the workplace the individual is not a team worker, yet it is by means of teamwork that success is purportedly achieved. Yet Arendt, in her reading of Augustine, retraces an obscured pathway from a more deeply rooted Christian anthropology into liberal politics and institutional belonging. The self-reflective interiority that she recognizes in Augustine and translates into the political realm may protect individuals in liberal societies from succumbing to destructive politics fuelled by narcissistic personality and the rhetoric of exclusion. It may enable individuals to resist the determination of their actions, thoughts, and desires by the omnipresent totalizing forces of mass advertising, media, and social media, which build markets and constituencies on the fiction that large numbers of people want the same things and think the same way. Interiority grounds a polity based on the recognition that everyone is different. Each unique individual who accepts that they stand before God accountable for their actions is an individual capable of responsible action that safeguards other individuals, and the natural world, from suffering and annihilation.

The model of political action that emerges is very far from the hyper-individualism of spontaneous radicalism for its own sake with which Arendt’s theory of action has sometimes been identified. In Arendt’s Augustinian context, churches and Christians, being concerned with spiritual matters, need to contribute to building and maintaining the public realm, because without a degree of societal stability not even worship is possible. However, churches and Christians are also called to contribute to the political task of world-building for its own sake.[34] Although Arendt construes Christian identity in consistently Johannine terms as grounded in a love for God that removes believers from the world, her reading of Augustine reminds us that the membership of the resulting community cannot be defined by visible boundaries. Lovers of God and of truth are to be found in unexpected places.

Photo by marek kizer on Unsplash.


Notes

[1] Hannah Arendt, Love and Saint Augustine, trans. Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Stark (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996); eadem, Der Liebesbegriff bei Augustin. Versuch einer philosophischen Interpretation (Berlin: Springer, 1929).

[2] Patrick Boyle, “Elusive neighbourliness: Hannah Arendt’s interpretation of Saint Augustine,” in Amor Mundi: Explorations in the Faith and Thought of Hannah Arendt, ed. James W. Bernauer (Boston: Nijhoff, 1987), 81–114.

[3] Roland Beiner, “Love and worldliness: Hannah Arendt’s reading of Saint Augustine,” in Hannah Arendt, Twenty Years Later, eds. Larry May and Jerome Kohn (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1996), 269–84.

[4] Eric Gregory, Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 197–240.

[5] Stephan Kampowski, Arendt, Augustine, and the New Beginning: The Action Theory and Moral Thought of Hannah Arendt in the Light of Her Dissertation on St. Augustine (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008).

[6] Notably Judith Butler, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015), 44–5, 75–80, 86–9, 117–19 and 206–7. I am grateful to Ulrich Schmiedel for discussion of this point.

[7] Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 79–135.

[8] Arendt, The Human Condition, 175–247.

[9] Hannah Arendt, Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess (London: East and West, 1957). This was Arendt’s Habilitationsschrift, which she completed in Paris in 1938. On Luxemburg, eadem, Men in Dark Times (New York: Harcourt Brace & World, 1968), 33–56.

[10] Arendt, Love, 82. See J. G. Prendeville, “The Development of the Idea of Habit in the Thought of Saint Augustine,” Traditio 28 (1972): 29–100.

[11] Arendt, Love, 83.

[12] Augustine, The City of God against the Pagans 19.14, trans. R. W. Dyson (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 941–2.

[13] Arendt, The Human Condition, 77–8.

[14] Arendt, The Human Condition, 28–37.

[15] Arendt, The Human Condition, 68–73 (71).

[16] David Grumett, “Arendt, Augustine and Evil,” The Heythrop Journal 41 (2000): 154–69.

[17] Rowan Williams, On Augustine (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), 103.

[18] Arendt, The Human Condition, 53.

[19] Arendt, The Human Condition, 54.

[20] Arendt, Love, 21.

[21] Charles T. Mathewes, Evil and the Augustinian Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 151–3, 190–2.

[22] Kampowski, Arendt, 38–45, also 64–8, 215–19.

[23] Mathewes, Evil, 175.

[24] John Kiess, Hannah Arendt and Theology (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), 19–20, 31–2, 139–88.

[25] Arendt, The Human Condition, 9.

[26] Lk. 2.10, Is. 9.6.

[27] Thomas Breidenthal, “Jesus is My Neighbor: Arendt, Augustine, and the Politics of Incarnation,” Modern Theology 14 (1998): 489–503 (491).

[28] Arendt, Love, 99.

[29] Arendt, Love, 99–100.

[30] Arendt, Love, 102.

[31] Arendt, Love, 105–6.

[32] Arendt, Love, 107–8.

[33] Arendt, Love, 111.

[34] Kiess, Hannah Arendt, 125–30.

By David Grumett
David Grumett is a Senior Lecturer of Theology and Ethics in School of Theology at the University of Edinburgh