Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Karl Barth Hannah Arendt on Evil and Covenant

Author: HONG Liang, Assistant Professor, China Graduate School of Theology



Starting from different disciplinary backgrounds, Karl Barth and Hannah Arendt analyzed the concept of evil after World War II, both emphasizing the rootlessness of evil. In the context of their respective anthropological approaches, this essay shows that an actor`s ability to act as in alliance with others is impaired by rootless evil, and that this forms the core of their concept of humanity: homo solidaritus. With regard to Barthian scholarship, the originality of this essay is that it considers Barth’s doctrine of nothingness in the context of theological anthropology and uses the concept of action to reinterpret Barth’s political theology. In the context of research into Arendt’s thinking, this essay shows clearly how the banality of evil has nothing to do with the everydayness of evil, but rather the collapse of the plural structure of the person and the lifeworld of the agent. In this wayit is possible to understand her political anthropology from a theological perspective.



Karl Barth, Hannah Arendt, rootlessness of evil, covenant, banality of evil, homo solidaritus


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