Harvard Theological Review


On Not Being Silent in the Darkness: Adorno's Singular Apophaticism*

James Gordon Finlaysona1

a1 University of Sussex, U.K.

Adorno's late work has often been compared to negative theology, yet there is little serious discussion of this comparison in the secondary literature. In most of the existing discussions virtually nothing is said about negative theology, as if it is obvious what it is and what the parallels with Adorno's ideas are. The truth is that negative theology is not self-evident, and neither are the parallels with Adorno at all obvious. To find out what they are would require a detailed account of both. In this article I shall make a start in this direction.

* Many thanks to the two anonymous readers for this journal for their insightful and helpful comments. The paper is improved because of them. Special thanks also to Peter Poellner, David A.D. Smith, Stephen Mulhall, Michael Rosen, Lydia Goehr, Evelyn Wilcock, Nick Royle and to all the members of the North American Critical Theory Roundtable in New York, September 2008, notably Max Pensky and Matthias Frisch.