This paper analyses the affinity between the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and the position of German critical theorists in their critiques of instrumental reason, thereby exposing common theological motives that constitute German critical theory. Based on a thorough analysis of his critical reflections about instrumental reason I advance two propositions: on the one hand, that Pope Benedict XVI is a critical theorist; on the other hand, that critical theorists embed theological assumptions in their expositions of modernity and instrumental reason. Both parties rely on common cultural tools that speak through the myth of Faust, and they share the same narrative of doom and fall in their analyses of modernity and instrumental reason.
- Critical theory
- German social theory