Critical Theory, Social Justice, and the Attempt to Disfigure the “Transfiguration”

Eric Hyde's Blog

A major problem between the social justice movement and Christianity can be found in early Critical Theory.

Max Horkheimer (head of the Frankfort School in the 1930’s and pioneering figure of Critical Theory) found in German idealism an “inherently bourgeois philosophy,” containing elements that posed serious threats to the progress of social justice. For Horkheimer, idealism thrives on what he called “transfiguration” thinking. In a nutshell, the category of transfiguration worked as a catchall for any notion of justice that requires a supernatural sphere for ultimate justice to work itself out.

Critical Theory scholar, Fred Rush, writes: “transfiguration severely compromises the potential for social justice, since transfiguring theories allow that the ultimate relief from suffering is achieved only outside contexts in which human action can be effective. False optimism in a ‘world beyond,’ in which reward and rectification is possible, promotes tolerance of suffering and quietism concerning human redress for…

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About padrerichard

I am a Priest with ROCOR.
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