• Hannah Arendt and the Disappearance of the Political in the Modern Age

      Zylstra, Bernard; Koyzis, David Theodore; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1982-01)
    • Narrative companionship: philosophy, gender stereotypes, and young adult literature

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Musschenga, A. W.; Van Dyk, Tricia Kay; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2016-03)
      This dissertation contends that North American culture is in the grip of a reductionism that neglects plurality while seeking after pseudo-universality and pseudoindividuality, exemplified by the apparently contradictory tendencies to take as normative what can be generalized and to deny universally applicable normativity. I pay special attention to gender stereotypes, in which the particular (individual) becomes irrelevant, ignored, or perceived as a threat unless it can be treated as part of the general (stereotype). I argue that philosophical fiction—and, in particular, young adult fiction— contributes to a principled plurality in both lived and academic philosophy. It does so through its imaginative power to enlarge perspectives, criticize from the margins, and galvanize readers to engage with injustice. I focus on young adult fiction because of its wide reach, relevance for ethical formation, and exceptional tendency to question stereotypical understandings of human existence. After explicating the distinction between lived and academic philosophy and situating my project in the larger conversation about fiction and philosophy, I argue for the ethical significance of philosophical interaction with story. In conversation with Martha C. Nussbaum and Hannah Arendt, I draw together three themes—the integrality of form and content, the ability of storytelling to act as critical thinking in context, and the key role of particularity in the context of plurality—in order to emphasize the need to approach fiction in its intrinsic plurality without losing the possibility of shared criteria. A causal model is insufficient in this regard. Drawing on Lambert Zuidervaart’s conception of imaginative disclosure, I show that art both suggests and requires interpretation and that fiction’s ethical contribution to philosophy needs to be understood as thoroughly hermeneutical. I settle on “narrative companionship,” a variation of Wayne C. Booth’s metaphor of stories as friends, as a helpful noncausal metaphor for interaction with fiction. Then I seek to demonstrate the fruitfulness of this metaphor, in contrast to academic philosophy’s traditional approaches to fiction as either a tool or an example, by commenting on several stories that have informed my own lived philosophy.
    • Natality From Chaos: Hannah Arendt and Democratic Education

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Van Dyk, Tricia K.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-08)
      This thesis considers contemporary education from a philosophical angle via the work of Hannah Arendt in light of education's key place a the intersection of responsibility for the past, empowerment to effect change in the present, and hope for the future. Chapter 1 sets out an understanding of human community as a chaotic system in the technical sense via Arendt's concept of natality, applying this understanding to the project of education as a way of helping educators facilitate students' ability to contribute something new without controlling students' potentially unique contributions. Chapter 2 questions in more detail the applicability of some of Arendt's philosophical and political ideas to multicultural education, addressing also the need for setting goals for action without assuming a deterministic, mathematically linear process. Chapter 3 examines Arendt's firm distinction between education and politics in the context of globalization and the possibility of continual renewal and transformation of our world.
    • Perspective vol. 47 no. 2 (Oct 2013)

      Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-10-22)
    • Perspective vol. 51 no. 1 (Spring 2017)

      Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2017-05-08)
    • Relationship Issues: Forgiveness and Promising According to Hannah Arendt and Jacques Derrida

      Hoff, Shannon; Ratzlaff, Caleb; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-08-31)
      In retrospect this learning experience lead me to two conclusions. First, the way we hold someone responsible must reflect the openness and vulnerability of the actor and those to whom she relates. What we do when we hold someone responsible, administering a sentence, for example, must respond to the unending process of interaction and transformation that defines the human person in intersubjective life. This essentially describes the meaning and limits of holding someone responsible. The second lesson was more directly addressed in this thesis. It concerns the idea that the uncertain and vulnerable characteristics of the self that accompany our transformability, are not simply detriments to responsibility. Rather, the uncertain nature of a self as it exists in relationship with others is a condition of meaningfulness, responsibility, and love. As a condition of responsibility, our finitude calls for the sustaining ethical practices of promises and forgiveness. Uncertainty, even in its greatest manifestations as birth and death, is something we can embrace.
    • Taking Hannah Arendt to Church: Toward a Renewed Appreciation of the Mutuality Between Moral Philosophy and Religious Life and Culture

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Allers, Christopher R.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2007-09)
      In this study, I consider the possibility of extending Hannah Arendt's critiques of conformity and behavior and her insights on thinking and moral philosophy to Christian life and culture. With Arendt, I argue that the possibility to refrain from perpetrating great evils made possible by uncritical conformity resides within the activity of thinking itself, as she defines it. Furthermore, I argue, again with Arendt, that refraining from such evils is a moral decision which finds its ultimate standard in the self. Although she culls many helpful insights from religious traditions, Arendt refrains from extending her moral philosophy into any realm in which religion is considered to be the valid standard of what constitutes moral behavior. Instead, I argue, against Arendt, that Christians can, and perhaps should, develop a more mature understanding of religion and a more "covenantal" understanding of their relationship with the divine.
    • This Thinking Individual: Conscience and Subjectivity in Søren Kierkegaard and Hannah Arendt

      Mackie, Carolyn J.; Institute for Christian Studies (2013-01-19)