Perspectives on Love: Helgard Mahrdt: "Hannah Arendt on Love, Friendship, and Politics"

On March 22nd, guest researcher at STK Helgard Mahrdt will give a presentation titled "Hannah Arendt on Love, Friendship, and Politics". This is the second event in our digital lecture series Perspectives on Love, in which we explore different understandings of the concept of love.

Image may contain: Person, Chin, Hairstyle, Eyebrow, Smile.

Photo: UiO/Public domain


Hannah Arendt’s work is on the vita activa and the vita contemplativa. Notions such as public realm, politics, human plurality, freedom, equality and power are central for her thinking. But Arendt does not neglect the fact that we also "exist in the singular".  It is in friendship and in love that we reach out directly to the other.

In my talk I will ask “what is love, what is friendship”? How do we understand the stark contrast of Arendt's statement that love always is a sudden interruption, a "coup de foudre" while friendship depends on durability (“a two weeks old friendship does not exist”)? Why does Hannah Arendt think that love is “worldless”, unpolitical and even anti-political? In addition, why does friendship, on the other hand, introduce a humanness into politics? If love is a worldless passion, how, then, can we understand Arendt when she talks about the love for the world, Amor mundi?

Practical information

This digital event will be in English, and will consist of a 30 minute lecture, followed by 30 minutes of discussion. This event is free and open to the public. Please follow this link to register for the lecture:


The Zoom link will be sent to your registered email address prior to the event. NB: Please note that we will close the registration for this event at 1 pm CET on March 22. 

For inquiries about the lecture series, please send an email to Anna Young

Published Mar. 1, 2021 12:21 PM - Last modified Mar. 18, 2021 12:48 PM