A post-humanist interpretation
The tsunami disaster in southeast Asia in January 2005 prompted a leading Swedish political scientist to publicly declare his return to the Christian Church. He was by no means alone – a remarkable reversal of the public reaction to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, which for Voltaire and others implied that the Church no longer possessed exclusive insight into the human condition. But the man-made catastrophes of the twentieth century undermined the enlightenment enterprise: for Adorno, “nature” could no longer be banished to the non-human. This undermines the truth claim of the humanities, which in the twenty-first century are stranded between theology and the natural sciences.