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.
Hannah Arendt, philosophy of work, labor, leisure, play, rest
Source Publication Title
Evangelical Philosophical Society
Link to Publisher's Edition
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.