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Parataxis and Theonomy

Tillich and Adorno in Dialogue
  • Christopher Craig Brittain
Part of the Radical Theologies book series (RADT)

Abstract

A few weeks after Paul Tillich’s death in October 1965, Theodor W. Adorno stood before his class at the outset of a new series of lectures and paid tribute to his former postdoctoral supervisor. He says of Tillich,

I owe him the most profound debt of gratitude for having approved of my Habilitation thesis in 1931…It is a debt such as I owe to few others. Had he not exerted himself on my behalf something he did despite the differences in our respective theoretical points of view…it is very questionable whether I would be able to speak to you today; it is even questionable whether I would have survived.1

Keywords

Mutual Influence Christian Theology Socialist Politics Frankfurt School Ultimate Concern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Theodor W. Adorno, Lectures on Negative Dialectics, trans. Rodney Livingstone (Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2008), 3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Paul Tillich, Gesammelte Werk, vol. 4 (Stuttgart: Evangelisches Verlagswerk, 1959–1975), 301.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School, trans. Michael Robertson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994), 37.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Theodor Adorno, “Errinerungen an Paul Tillich,” In Werk und Wirken Paul Tillichs, ed. Wolf-Dieter Marsch (Stuttgart: Evangelisches Verlagswerk, 1967), 26–28.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wilhelm and Marion Pauck, Paul Tillich: His Life & Thought, vol. 1 (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 155.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    John W Murphy, “Paul Tillich and Western Marxism,” American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 5.1 (1984), 13–24.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ronald H. Stone, “Tillich: Radical Political Theologian,” Religion in Life 46 (Spring 1977), 44–53.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ronald H. Stone, “Tillich’s Use of Marx and Freud in the Social Context of the Frankfurt School,” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 33 (Fall 1977), 3.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Terrence O’Keefe, “Paul Tillich and the Frankfurt School,” Theonomy and Autonomy: Studies in Paul Tillich’s Engagement with Modern Culture, ed. John L. Carey (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1984), 67.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination (Boston: Little Brown, 1973), 35.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    James Champion, “Tillich and the Frankfurt School: Parallels and Differences in Prophetic Criticism,” Soundings 69 (Winter 1986), 514.Google Scholar
  12. 15.
    Gary M. Simpson, Critical Social Theory: Prophetic Reason, Civil Society, and Christian Imagination (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002), 32.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Ibid., 34. These remarks are found in, Paul Tillich, “Review of Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 9 (1941), 476–478.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    Bryan Lee Wagoner, The Subject of Emancipation: Critique, Reason and Religion in the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Paul Tillich (unpublished PhD diss., Harvard University, 2011), 358.Google Scholar
  15. 21.
    Theodor W Adorno, Negative Dialectics, trans. E. B. Ashton (New York: Continuum, 1995), 31.Google Scholar
  16. 23.
    Theodor W Adorno, lectures on Metaphysics: Concept and Problems, ed. Rolf Tiedemann, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000), 194.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    Paul Tillich, “Man and Society in Religious Socialism,” Main Works/Haupt Werke, vol. 3, ed. Carl Heinz Ratschow (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1998), 491.Google Scholar
  18. Adorno’s criticism is published in, Theodor W Adorno, “Contra Paulum,” Briefwechsel: Theodor W. Adorno und Max Horkheimer, vol. 2, ed. Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2004), 475–503. For an English translation, see, Waggoner, Subject of Emancipation, 378–401.Google Scholar
  19. 26.
    Adorno, “Parataxis: On Höderlin’s Late Poetry”, Notes to literature, vol. 2, trans. Shierry Weber Nicholsen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 109–152.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    Ibid., 137. In the letter, “Nur als zum Ideal verhält seine Dichtung sich zur Theologie, surrogiert sie nicht”. Theodor W Adorno: Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 11: Noten zur Literatur: Parataxis (Frankfurt: Surhkamp, 2003), 478.Google Scholar
  21. 30.
    Paul Tillich, Perspectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theology (London: SCM Press, 1967), 242.Google Scholar
  22. 33.
    Adorno, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, ed. Rolf Tiedemann, trans. Rodney Livingstone (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), 6.Google Scholar
  23. 34.
    Adorno first delivered the paper to the Hölderlin Society in 1963. It caused considerable controversy, and led Heidegger himself to withdraw his membership from the society. See: Robert Ian Savage, Hölderlin after the Catastrophe: Heidegger, Adorno, Brecht (Rochester, NY: Camden, 2008), 98.Google Scholar
  24. 35.
    Adorno, “Why still Philosophy,” Critical Models, trans. Henry W. Pickford (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), 6.Google Scholar
  25. 37.
    This account must leave aside consideration of debates over the relationship Adorno’s thought to that of Heidegger, and to what extent the former’s polemical writing against the latter masks significant similarities in their thought. See, Iain Macdonald and Krzysztof Ziarek, eds., Adorno and Heidegger: Philosophical Questions (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
  26. 39.
    Brief consideration of Adorno’s emphatic concept of truth will be offered below. For further discussion of this concept, see: Deborah Cook, ed., Theodor Adorno: Key Concepts (Stocksfield: Acumen, 2008).Google Scholar
  27. 42.
    David Farrell Krell, “Adorno’s Parataxis,” Language without Soil: Adorno and Late Philosophical Modernity, ed. Gerhard Richter (New York: Fordham, 2010), 197.Google Scholar
  28. 47.
    J. M. Bernstein, Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 55.
    Adorno, Negative Dialectics, trans. E. B. Ashton (New York: Continuum, 1995), 3.Google Scholar
  30. 63.
    For a prominent articulation of such criticism, see: Jürgen Habermas, Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, trans. Frederick G. Lawrence (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), 106–130.Google Scholar
  31. 69.
    Elsewhere I suggest that Adorno inverts Tillich’s notion of correlation. See: Christopher Craig Brittain, Adorno and Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2010), 163–168.Google Scholar
  32. 71.
    Martin Heidegger, “Only a God Can Save Us Now,” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 6.1 (1977), 5–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Russell Re Manning 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Craig Brittain

There are no affiliations available

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