Like other German Jewish thinkers of her generation, Arendt was obsessed with temporality in general—beginnings, birth, the seasons of life, finality, closure, and death. Like other German-Jewish thinkers she considered time as an answer to the question of identity and what we call in the present “identity politics.” As we will discuss, Arendt’s whole political philosophy could (and should) be read from a temporal perspective; time was for her the most important hermeneutic principle underlying politics and identity, revolutions and constitutions, collectives and the individual, Christianity and Judaism.
Nitzan Lebovic is associate professor of History at Lehigh University. He received his B.A. in History and Theory of Literature from Tel Aviv University and his Ph.D. from UCLA. His first book, titled The Philosophy of Life and Death: Ludwig Klages and the Rise of a Nazi Biopolitics (2013) focuses on the circle around the Lebensphilosophie and anti-Semitic thinker Ludwig Klages. His second book, Zionism and Melancholy: The Short Life of Israel Zarchi, came out in Hebrew in 2015 and is expected soon in English. Nitzan is also co-editor of The Politics of Nihilism (2014) and of Catastrophes: A History and Theory of an Operative Concept (2014), and has authored special issues of Rethinking History (Nihilism), Zmanim (Religion and Power), and The New German Critique (Political Theology). Professor Lebovic regularly teaches classes about the history of the Holocaust, the history of total war, introduction to modern Jewish culture, and the history of fascism. He is particularly proud of already having a small number of students that he has helped in their academic journey, in Israel, Germany, and the United States.