When: Tuesday, February 4
Time: Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Global and International Studies Building 1060
Speaker: Professor Michael Weinman, Bard College Berlin (Philosophy), IU Department of Comparative Literature
I aim to show today how Hannah Arendt can serve as an alternative to the three main extant approaches to "political theology" that reverberate in the literature: those of Carl Schmitt, Ernst Kantorowicz, and Leo Strauss. I do so through a reconstruction of a relatively underdiscussed Arendtian resource, which happens to be her last finished written composition: the concluding chapter of part two of The Life of the Mind (“Willing”), entitled “The abyss of freedom and novus ordo seclorum.” This chapter, where Arendt addresses many of the same themes that bring readers and critics back time and again to especially The Human Condition and On Revolution, is a fruitful source for trying to find a way through the manner in which past actions constitute future-oriented action and democratic freedom to be possible. At the heart of the matter--we will find--is a unique Arendtian perspective, not found in this way in others of her works, on the place of both biblical and classical “traditional authorities” in the political project of Republican modernity.