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Migrants in the Profane – Critical Theory and the Question of Secularization - Yale Scholarship Online
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Migrants in the Profane: Critical Theory and the Question of Secularization

Peter E. Gordon


Migrants in the Profane explores the concept of secularization in the thought of three key figures in the classical phase of critical theory, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor W. Adorno. Following Adorno’s dictum that theological concepts must undergo a “migration into the profane,” the book asks whether it is possible for secular modernity to draw instruction from the normative resources of religion without violating its own principle of modern independence. It pursues this question in three chapters, examining how each author proposed distinctive answers. Interlacing philosophical ... More

Keywords: secularization, critical theory, Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Jürgen Habermas, religion, Marxism, normativity, modernity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780300250763
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300250763.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter E. Gordon, author
Harvard University