Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Cassie Striblen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Pierlott, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven James, Ph.D.


Hannah Arendt criticized the Christian faith for what she saw as an inherent wordlessness or ascetic attitude. She believed this focus on the afterlife was an afront to her political philosophy and kept people from participating in the public sphere. This thesis is a selective exploration of Arendt’s criticisms against the Christian faith and aims to show that there is a way of reconciling the respective belief systems, allowing an Arendtian to benefit from Christian ideas and a Christian to improve themselves with the assistance of Arendtian concepts. The project is split into two chapters. Each chapter focuses on a point of comparison and tries to show how each side views the point before concluding that reconciliation is possible between the two parties. The first chapter addresses Arendt's main concern about the world and the Christian attitude of contemptus mundi. It makes the case that Arendt was wrong to say that Christianity is necessarily and inherently worldless, and that Christians ought to listen to Arendt's call to be active participants in the world. The second chapter wrestles with Arendt's concept of love. She believed love to be problematic for politics but seems to also say it is a necessary part of the proper attitude toward the world. This chapter aims to show that Arendt was wrong in her dismissal of love and that her philosophy is enhanced by the Christian faith's focus on love as the ultimate fulfillment of the Law.