Critical theory represents the dominant theoretical framework currently deployed in the humanities, yet it is a framework that many theologians have been slow to engage. The recent ‘postcritical’ turn in critical theory, however, has striking affinities with several key concerns of Christian theology, as is becoming increasingly recognised. This article suggests that dialogue between critical theory and theology can be mutually beneficial, particularly in relation to hamartiology. It argues that there is a strong parallel between Martin Luther's theology of the law and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's account of critical theory's ‘paranoid’ hermeneutics. It then draws on this parallel to diagnose a weakness in Sedgwick's ‘postcritical’ response to such paranoia, and suggests that this weakness can be repaired by a specifically theological approach to hermeneutics.