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Originally published in in 2004. What, at this historical moment "after Auschwitz," still remains of the questions traditionally asked by theology? What now is theology's minimal degree? This magisterial study, the first extended comparison of the writings of Theodor W. Adorno and Emmanuel Levinas, explores remnants and echoes of religious forms in these thinkers' critiques of secular reason, finding in the work of both a "theology in pianissimo" constituted by the trace of a transcendent other. The author analyzes, systematizes, and formalizes this idea of an other of reason. In addition, he frames these thinkers' innovative projects within the arguments of such intellectual heirs as J├╝rgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, defending their work against later accusations of "performative contradiction" (by Habermas) or "empiricism" (by Derrida) and in the process casting important new light on those later writers as well. Attentive to rhetorical and rational features of Adorno's and Levinas's texts, his investigations of the concepts of history, subjectivity, and language in their writings provide a radical interpretation of their paradoxical modes of thought and reveal remarkable and hitherto unsuspected parallels between their philosophical methods, parallels that amount to a plausible way of overcoming certain impasses in contemporary philosophical thinking. In Adorno, this takes the form of a dialectical critique of dialectics; in Levinas, that of a phenomenological critique of phenomenology, each of which sheds new light on ancient and modern questions of metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. For the English-language publication, the author has extensively revised and updated the prize-winning German version.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. New Copyright
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  1. Half Title
  2. pp. i-ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Epigraph
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xxx
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xxxi-xxxiv
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  1. Half Title 1
  2. pp. xxxv-xxxvi
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  1. Introduction: Tertium Datur
  2. pp. 1-46
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  1. PART One: Antiprolegomena
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. 1. Toward a Critique of Theology
  2. pp. 49-107
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  1. 2. A Possible Internal and External Differentiation of Habermas's Theory of Rationality
  2. pp. 108-164
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  1. PART Two: Dialectica
  2. p. 165
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  1. 3. Paradox and Aporia in Adorno's Philosophy of Nonidentity
  2. pp. 167-190
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  1. 4. The Construction of Occidental Subjectivism: Reductio ad hominem versus Remembrance of Nature in the Subject
  2. pp. 191-233
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  1. 5. The Breaking Apart of Western Objectivism and the Resurrection of the Particular and the Ephemeral in the Philosophy of History
  2. pp. 234-299
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  1. 6. Metaphysical Experience
  2. pp. 300-344
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  1. PART Three: Phaenomenologica
  2. pp. 345-346
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  1. 7. Paradox and Aporia in Levinas's Philosophy of the Ethical-Religious Other
  2. pp. 347-408
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  1. 8. Levinas on Art and Truth
  2. pp. 409-442
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  1. 9. The Dialectics of Subjectivity and the Critique of Objectivism
  2. pp. 443-493
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  1. 10. Loosening Logocentrism: Language and Skepticism
  2. pp. 494-526
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  1. PART Four: Hermeneutica Sacra sive Profana
  2. pp. 526-527
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  1. 11. From Unhappy Consciousness to Bad Conscience
  2. pp. 529-600
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  1. 12. "The Other Theology": Conceptual, Historical, and Political Idolatry
  2. pp. 601-630
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  1. Appendix: The Theology of the Sign and the Sign of Theology: The Apophatics of Deconstruction
  2. pp. 631-658
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 659-700
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 701-720
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