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Adorno and Theology

Overview

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903-1969), the German sociologist and philosopher was one of the intellectual leaders of the post-war Frankfurt School. This book presents and analyzes Adorno's writings on theology and religion in a clear and accessible manner. It is targeted at upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students, and will not presuppose any familiarity with Adorno. The book includes a general introduction to Adorno's thought, and examines his relationship with the work of Walter Benjamin ...

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Overview

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903-1969), the German sociologist and philosopher was one of the intellectual leaders of the post-war Frankfurt School. This book presents and analyzes Adorno's writings on theology and religion in a clear and accessible manner. It is targeted at upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students, and will not presuppose any familiarity with Adorno. The book includes a general introduction to Adorno's thought, and examines his relationship with the work of Walter Benjamin and Jewish theology, his confrontation with scientific positivism (Karl Popper), and his criticism of the "Culture Industry" and ideology. All of these topics are explored with attention to how they engage with contemporary debates within theology. This is accomplished by bringing Adorno's work into dialogue with major concerns and authors. The volume concludes by highlighting an often neglected aspect of Adorno's writing - his philosophy of music - and how this aesthetic appreciation of the sublime informs contemporary theological reflection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780567261083
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/23/2010
  • Series: Philosophy and Theology Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,286,079
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Craig Brittain is Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction Adorno and Theology? 1

Adorno and Theology 2

Theodor W. Adorno 3

A Brief Introduction to Adorno's Philosophy 4

Adorno's 'Inverse Theology' 7

Perils and Clarifications 8

From Systems to Constellations 9

Religion and Theology 10

The Structure of the Book 11

1 Materialism, Theology and the Dialectic of Enlightenment 15

Adorno, the 'Frankfurt School' and Religion 18

Dialectic of Enlightenment: Reason, Myth and Mimesis 23

Materialism and Demystification 27

Adorno and Theological Materialism 31

2 Actuality and Potentiality: On Kant and Metaphysics 37

The Kantian Block 38

Milbank and the Kantian Block 47

Metaphysical Experience and Theology 51

3 Social Science and Metaphysical Experience: Negative Dialectics as Crypto-Theology? 56

Critical Theory and Positivism 58

The 'Positivist Dispute' 60

Conjecture and Refutation or Dialectics? 61

Totality and Reason 65

Value Freedom and Crypto-Theology 69

On the Necessity of a Normative Foundation 72

Social Theory and Empirical Research 76

4 Inverse Theology: Bilderverbot and the Illumination of Non-identity 83

Astrology and the Return to Religion 84

Adorno and Theology 86

The Prohibition on Images: Bilderverbot 88

Interpretations of Adorno's References to Theology 89

A Negative Theology? 91

Negative Dialectics as a 'Minimial Theology' of the Trace? 94

An 'Inverse Theology' 97

Adorno and Benjamin on Kafka 98

Inverting Feuerbach, Beyond Marx 102

Positive Religion and Judaism 106

Constellation and Revelation: Adorno and Barth 107

5 Politics, Liberation and the Messianic 114

Adorno and the Political 115

Reason or Revolution? The German Student Movement 116

Theory and Practice 119

Adorno and Liberation Theology 122

A Foundational Ground for Political Theology? 127

Messianism and Political Theology 129

6 Religion and the Culture Industry: Spirituality, Rational Choice and the Theology of Correlation 140

'Spirituality' 141

The Culture Industry 144

Rational Choice Theory and the Scientific Study of Religion 147

A Beautiful Mind? 148

The Presuppositions of Rational Choice Theory 151

Religion as Compensation 154

From A Beautiful Mind to the 'Beautiful Soul' 159

Adorno on Religion 160

Correlation, Ideology and Damaged Life 163

Inverse Correlation 168

7 Hymns to the Silence 170

Adorno among Christian Theologians 171

Theology after Auschwitz? 183

The 'Metaphysical Moment' and Theology 186

Theology and Aesthetics 189

The Weight of Objectivity: Theology as an Empty Shell 190

Thinking with One's Ears: Hymns to the Silence 192

Reconciliation: From Autonomy to Love 194

Inverse Theology as Negative Correlation 197

Hymns to the Silence 198

Notes 201

Bibliography 223

Index 233

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