Leading philosopher Peg Birmingham explores the relation between political deception, violence, and law in an attempt to renew the concept of the political.
Hannah Arendt has been celebrated as a thinker of natality, action, and radical new beginnings. Birmingham argues that this celebration misses Arendt's central concern throughout her work which is is to rethink political immortality in a secularized world that has lost its theological ground. Against such thinkers as Hobbes, Rousseau, and Carl Schmitt, all of whom ground their conception of the political in a theological conception of immortality animated by sovereign glory and violence, Birmingham argues that Arendt rethinks political glory as earthly immortality. Through a sustained reflection on Arendt's understanding of law, violence, revolutionary power, authority, and political judgment and an engagement with several of Arendt's readers, including Agamben, Balibar, Butler, and Lyotard, Birmingham claims that Arendt's notion of earthly immortality allows for a post-theological conception of the political that is no longer rooted in sovereign glory and sacralised violence.
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