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Thinking in Dark TimesHannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics$
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Roger Berkowitz, Jeffrey Katz, and Thomas Keenan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230754

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230754.001.0001

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Hannah Arendt's Jewish Identity

Hannah Arendt's Jewish Identity

Chapter:
(p.207) Hannah Arendt's Jewish Identity
Source:
Thinking in Dark Times
Author(s):

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823230754.003.0019

The topic of Hannah Arendt's Jewish identity can be approached from many directions. This chapter considers Arendt in the context of the vision of world history articulated by her teacher and mentor Karl Jaspers, in which her people, the Jews of Palestine, were considered as one of the “Axial Age” peoples. It argues that it is Arendt's Jewish identity—not just the identity she asserted in defending herself as a Jew when attacked as one, but more deeply her connection to the Axial Age prophetic tradition—that made her the cosmopolitan she was, while Jaspers's cosmopolitanism was more learned than inherited and reinforced by group experience.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, Jewish writers, political writers, Jews, cosmopolitanism, Karl Jaspers, Axial Age, Jewish identity

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