Art--even after Auschwitz : Adorno's critical theory of art, religion and ideology / by Cheryl Nafziger-Leis
Includes bibliographical references (final  p.)
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Electronic version from ProQuest
Amidst the devastation of World War II, Theodor Adorno, a German philosopher of Jewish descent, pronounced that to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. He later revised this statement, for it became apparent to him that art was the last refuge of hope in a world where suffering had not come to an end. This study is, in general, an investigation of art as that voice of suffering. More specifically, this is an examination of the nature of the relationships between art, ideology, and religion, in the context of the later twentieth century Western Christian tradition. Key components of this enquiry are an ideology critique of religion, as well as an ideology critique of the manipulation of art by religious institutions for the purposes of religion. The argument guiding this critique is that to manipulate works of art in this way is to deny art its autonomy. The critical theory of the Frankfurt School, especially as developed by Adorno, provides the critical tools for this investigation. The groundwork is laid by establishing what is meant by both the terms ideology and religion, and what it means to carry out such an investigation within the academic study of religion. As well, examples from the art of theatre are given in order to concretize the investigation. In the end the question becomes: if, as members of the Frankfurt School maintain, religion has abdicated its prophetic role in its accommodation to the world around it, what would it mean to argue that religious art might still be possible?
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