The Migration of Metaphysics into the Realm of the Profane

Theodor W. Adorno Reads Gershom Scholem


Ansgar Martins’s The Migration of Metaphysics into the Realm of the Profane is the first book-length study focusing on Adorno’s idiosyncratic appropriation of Jewish mysticism in the light of his relationship to Gershom Scholem and their shared intellectual contexts.

Rather than merely posit vague associative connections, as previous authors have often done, Martins’s close reading of specific references in published and private texts alike allows him to highlight both commonalities and differences between Adorno’s and Scholem’s understanding of Kabbalistic tropes and the issue of metaphysics in the modern world, and to demonstrate the extent to which similarities resulted from mutual and/or third-party influences (especially Benjamin). Martins throws the specifics of their respective idiosyncratic appropriations of (Jewish) tradition into sharp relief.

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Ansgar Martins is currently completing his doctorate on Siegfried Kracauer at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. He has published widely on Frankfurt School Critical Theory, focusing especially on its metaphysical affinities, and is well known as a critical scholar of Anthroposophy.
This book will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Intellectual History, Jewish Studies, Social Theory, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy, and German Studies.