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The Origin of the PoliticalHannah Arendt or Simone Weil?$
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Roberto Esposito

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276264

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276264.001.0001

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(p.61) 11 Topologies
The Origin of the Political

Roberto Esposito

, Vincenzo Binetti, Gareth Williams
Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that Weil's overturning of Arendt's views is not limited to the judgment on Rome. The very Christianity that Arendt situates as the commencement of the drift toward the modern constitutes for Weil both its internal rampart and its principle source of contention simultaneously. Indeed, for Weil Christianity is the spiritual thread that allows modernity to continue advancing in light of its originary inspiration. This does not mean that the two interpretative horizons are openly contradictory. They even coincide at one point precisely in their severe judgment of historical Christianity, which, paradoxically, Weil blames for the de-Christianization of our times. However, their two perspectives diverge once again as Arendt observes that this phenomenon surely occurs because Christianity is lacking in mundane, public figures. In contrast, Weil believes that it is precisely Christianity's spirituality that makes it the unique, authentic “continuation” of Greece.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, Christianity, spirituality, philosophy

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