Adorno and Theology (Philosophy and Theology) by Christopher Craig Brittain

By Christopher Craig Brittain

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903-1969), the German sociologist and thinker was once one of many highbrow leaders of the post-war Frankfurt college. This booklet offers and analyzes Adorno’s writings on theology and faith in a transparent and obtainable demeanour. it truly is exact at top point undergraduate and postgraduate scholars, and won't presuppose any familiarity with Adorno. The publication encompasses a basic creation to Adorno’s idea, and examines his dating with the paintings of Walter Benjamin and Jewish theology, his disagreement with medical positivism (Karl Popper), and his feedback of the “Culture Industry” and beliefs. All of those subject matters are explored with recognition to how they interact with modern debates inside theology. this is often entire by means of bringing Adorno’s paintings into discussion with significant matters and authors. the amount concludes via highlighting a frequently overlooked point of Adorno’s writing—his philosophy of music—and how this aesthetic appreciation of the elegant informs modern theological reflection.

“In advanced and infrequently deeply difficult methods, Adorno’s pondering was once profoundly educated through theology. whereas conscientiously adhering to the prohibition of pictures, he all of the related argued that theology encompasses a utopian aspiration that no actual serious idea can do with no. This publication sticks out as some of the most lucid and complete reviews of the theological strands of Adorno’s pondering. within the absence of confession and after the ‘death of god,’ it testifies to the continued philosophical worth and relevance of religion.” —Espen Hammer, Temple college

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Adorno’s critical theory is meant to prevent the concepts of experience and freedom from becoming fixed invariants, determined by a social ideology or imposed by a particular local narrative. The concept of absolute freedom helps to leave open the possibility that it might be realized in the future. Adorno recognizes that the Critique of Pure Reason attempts to retrieve certain aspects of ‘metaphysical experience’, which is ‘the inspiration of Kantian philosophy’. The pure concepts of the understanding, which set limits upon knowledge and reason, already demonstrate that reason is transgressive of such limits.

He argues that, ‘once the object becomes an object of cognition, its physical side is spiritualized from the outset by translation into epistemology’. When this occurs, the particularity of an object is ignored. It is forced to fit into the mould of a generalized method, and thus its concreteness – its materiality – is ultimately ignored. 26 The assumption that an object, as it presents itself directly to the theorist, represents the truth of its material reality remains, in Adorno’s view, blind to the compulsion of material conditions that shape it.

6 This argument is similar to that presented by Hegel, who argues that the manner in which Kant connects the categories to things-in-themselves fails to adequately explain the origin of sensations: ‘On one side 40 Actuality and Potentiality there is the Ego, with its . . synthetic unity . . But next to it there is an infinity of sensations and, if you like, of things in themselves. 8 Developing this viewpoint, Adorno articulates a criticism of the Kantian block. Kant’s prohibition of metaphysics, he argues, is dogmatic, for it claims that the conditions of the possibility of experience are unchanging.

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