Department of Religion and Philosophy
Hannah Arendt distinguishes between labor (life-sustaining activity), work (creative activity) and action (activity directed toward maintaining human relationships). This paper extends Arendt’s framework to three corresponding forms of inactivity: incorporating leisure, play and rest into a balanced, sixfold framework provides a robust, philosophical theology of work as divine-human cooperation. The philosopher’s life of leisure suggests a synthesis of Adam Smith’s and Karl Marx’s contrasting views on labor. An overview of biblical perspectives highlights a similarly paradoxical role for play in “the work” of divine creativity. Finally, an attitude of religious “rest” empowers us to transcend alienating tendencies in employer-employee relationships.
Evangelical Philosophical Society
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Hannah Arendt, philosophy of work, labor, leisure, play, rest
Palmquist, Stephen R.. "Toward a Christian Philosophy of Work: A Theological and Religious Extension of Hannah Arendt's Conceptual Framework." Philosophia Christi 11.2 (2009): 397-419.