This is an introduction to the core ideas in Theodor Adorno's work and their relevance for theology. 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.
"The Philosophy and Theology" series looks at major philosophers and explores their relevance to theological thought as well as the response of theology.
Christopher Brittain is Lecturer in Practical Theoogy in the University of Aberdeen, UK.
Introduction: Adorno and Theology?; Chapter I: Materialism, Secularism and the Stigmata of Existence; Chapter II: Actuality and Potentiality: On Kant and Metaphysics. Chapter III: Negative Dialectics as Crypto-Theology? The 'Positivist Dispute'; Chapter IV: Inverse Theology: Bilderverbot and the Illumination of Nonidentity; Chapter V: Politics, Liberation and the Messianic; Chapter VI: Religion and the Culture Industry; Chapter VII: Hymns to the Silence.