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The Dangers of Totalitarianism Today
21st May: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
’The Dangers of Totalitarianism Today – The Banality of Evil from the Perspectives of Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil’
A lecture by Dr Marie Cabaud Meaney
Have we learnt our lesson from the 20th century? Is the mantra of “never again” enough to prevent a regime like the 3rd Reich from raising its ugly head anew? Understanding the roots of the problem is key which is why Hannah Arendt wrote her magisterial work on The Origins of Totalitarianism, while Simone Weil analyzed the issue from a religious angle. In a totalitarian regime, evil appears banal – which makes it so insidious. Simone Weil and Hannah Arendt both investigated this phenomenon in a similar manner while giving a different diagnosis and proposing diverse solutions. Let us see what we can glean from their thoughts for our times.
Dr Meaney is an alumna of Oxford University, where she studied for her doctorate and an M.Phil. in Modern Languages; she also has an M. Phil. in philosophy from the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein and a D.E.U.G. from the Sorbonne in Paris. She is the author of Simone Weil’s Apologetic Use of Literature: Her Christological Interpretations of Ancient Greek Texts (OUP, 2007), Brücken zum Übernatürlichen: Simone Weil über das Böse, den Krieg und die Religion (Bernardus, 2018) and the booklet Embracing the Cross of Infertility. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the International Theological Institute in Vienna.
Venue: Blackfriars - St Giles Oxford, OX1 3LY United Kingdom
Las Casas Institute