Society, philosophy, and religion. Spaemann and the dialectic of anti‐modernism

Holger Zaborowski

in Robert Spaemann's Philosophy of the Human Person

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199576777
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722295 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Society, philosophy, and religion. Spaemann and the dialectic of anti‐modernism

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This chapter scrutinizes Spaemann's (published) doctoral dissertation, paying particular attention to his interpretation of the dialectic of Bonald's counter-revolutionary writings and to the way Spaemann's criticism renders questionable or even impossible certain ways of pursuing the relation between truth and religion on the one hand, and history and society on the other. It shows that The Origin of Sociology in the Spirit of Restoration is based upon a modification and extension of Adorno and Horkheimer's thesis of the dialectic of Enlightenment. The French counter-revolution, as Spaemann's argument goes, also turned against itself and its own presuppositions in a typically modern way. Spaemann's doctoral dissertation thus not only thematizes a particular and historically limited dialectic, but also analyses a dialectic that is characteristic of modernity and is thus still the dialectic of Enlightenment.

Keywords: Robert Spaemann; Bonald; anti-modernism; dialectic; Spirit of Restoration; Enlightenment

Chapter.  19025 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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