Hannah Arendt began her scholarly career with an exploration of Saint Augustine's concept of caritas, or neighborly love, written under the direction of Karl Jaspers and the influence of Martin Heidegger. After her German academic life came to a halt in 1933, Arendt carried her dissertation into exile in France, and years later took the same battered and stained copy to New York. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, as she was completing or reworking her most influential studies of political life, Arendt was simultaneously annotating and revising her dissertation on Augustine, amplifying its argument with terms and concepts she was using in her political works of the same period. The dissertation became a bridge over which Arendt traveled back and forth between 1929 Heidelberg and 1960s New York, carrying with her Augustine's question about the possibility of social life in an age of rapid political and moral change.
An edited and revised English translation of Arendt's 1929 doctoral thesis at the U. of Heidelberg on the topic of Saint Augustine's concept of caritas, or neighborly love. The text incorporates her own substantial revisions and provides additional notes based on letters, documents, and the recollections of friends and colleagues during her later years. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
Review of Politics
Provides fascinating insights into the conceptual framework that appears to have been foundational for all Arendt's work....The publication of this manuscript and the accompanying commentary contributes enormously to our understanding of Hannah Arendt. -- Review of Politics
Preface: Rediscovering Love and Saint Augustine
LOVE AND SAINT AUGUSTINE
Introduction Part I: Love as Craving: The Anticipated Future
1. The Structure of Craving (Appetitus)
2. Caritas and Cupiditas
3. The Order of Love Part II: Creator and Creature: The Remembered Past
1. The Origin
2. 2. Caritas and Cupiditas
3. Love of Neighbor Part III: Social Life
1. Introduction: "New Beginnings"
2. "Thought Trains"
3. Heidegger: Arendt between the Past and Future
4. Jaspers: Arendt and Existenz Philosophy