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Julia Jopp, Ansgar Martins & Lars Fischer

In: The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory

Chapter 41: Theology and Materialism

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Theology and Materialism
Theology and Materialism
Julia Jopp Ansgar Martins Lars Fischer

The Frankfurt School stood in the tradition of the Enlightenment critique of religion, especially in its formulation by Feuerbach, Marx, and Freud. In response to the historical experiences of the twentieth century, it radicalized this critique in fundamental ways. For Horkheimer and Adorno, religion was no longer merely ‘opium’ or the ‘sigh of the harried creature’.1 Their critique went much further. The First World War and the failure of the German Revolution had already rocked the belief in progress and the plausibility of religious attempts to ascribe meaning to reality. These attempts now fell into the rubric Adorno described as that of ‘unbelieving belief’, ...

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