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|Title:||The Politics of Christian Forgiveness: An Augustinian Assessment of Hannah Arendt|
|Abstract:||This thesis argues that Augustine’s account of Christian neighbour love properly characterizes and illuminates the political relevance of forgiveness within Christian community. The Christian commitment to love the neighbour is offensive to Hannah Arendt’s conceptualization of political freedom and political action, yet Augustine challenges Arendt’s notion of Christian ‘otherworldliness’ by locating the source of authentic forgiveness and political identity within the divine kenotic love of Christ. For Arendt, political forgiveness has the capacity to release us from the unforeseen and potentially devastating consequences of action as it safeguards our political interrelatedness and distinct human individuality. Arendt’s central objection to Augustinian forgiveness concerns its rootedness in Christ’s divine love, which, Arendt argues, destroys the public realm in which human political freedom rests. However, an Augustinian theological imagination responds to Arendt’s critical account of love by showing how the Incarnation is the exemplar of human political interaction. For Augustine, Christ as neighbour – in his divinity and humanity - makes forgiveness comprehensible as a politically relevant enactment of restorative love, and the worldly life of Christian community witnesses to this enactment as it points to coming fullness of God’s kingdom. Augustine offers us a way of thinking about a politic of forgiveness that tempers our expectations of political life as it broadens our understanding of love’s capacity to restore.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Koop_Christopher_F._2015October_Ph.D..pdf||1.49 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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