Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hans Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age: Part I, Chapter 9

We take an excursion through the literary uses of theological language (and vice-versa, for that matter). In brief, using religious vocabulary for dramatic effect shouldn't be confused with expressing religious ideas.

Towards the end, we have a tussle with other indictments of the legitimacy of the modern age; phenomenology and critical theory are brought into the dock for arraignment.

118-119: "Whether people's readiness to entertain assertions of objective guilt derives from an existential guiltiness of Dasein vis-a-vis its possibilities, as Heidegger suggested in Being and Time, or from the "societal delusion system" of Adorno's Negative Dialectics, in any case it is the high degree of indefiniteness of the complexes that are described in these ways that equips them to accept a variety of specific forms. Discontent is given retrospective self-evidence. This is not what gives rise to or stabilizes a theorem like that of secularization, but it certainly does serve to explain its success. The suggestion of a distant event that is responsible for what is wrong in the present -- a suggestion with which the secularization theorem also presents us -- is (not the only, but) an additional reason why the category of secularization is in need of a critique."

No comments: