In The Critique of Religion and Religion’s Critique: On Dialectical Religiology, Dustin J. Byrd compiles numerous essays honouring the life and work of the Critical Theorist, Rudolf J. Siebert. His “dialectical religiology,” rooted in the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, especially Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Leo Löwenthal, and Jürgen Habermas, is both a theory and method of understanding religion’s critique of modernity and modernity’s critique of religion. Born out of the Enlightenment and its most important thinkers, i.e. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, religion is understood to be dialectical in nature. It contains within it both revolutionary and emancipatory elements, but also reactionary and regressive elements, which perpetuate mankind’s continual debasement, enslavement, and oppression. Thus, religion by nature is conflicted within itself and thus stands against itself. Dialectical Religiology attempts to rescue those elements of religion from the dustbin of history and reintroduce them into society via their determinate negation. As such, it attempts to resolve the social, political, theological, and philosophical antagonisms that plague the modern world, in hopes of producing a more peaceful, justice-filled, equal, and reconciled society. The contributors to this book recognize the tremendous contributions of Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert in the fields of philosophy, sociology, history, and theology, and have profited from his long career. This book attempts to honour that life and work.
Contributors include: Edmund Arens, Gregory Baum, Francis Brassard, Dustin J. Byrd, Denis R. Janz, Gottfried Küenzlen, Mislav Kukoč, Michael, R. Ott, Rudolf J. Siebert, Hans K. Weitensteiner, and Brian C. Wilson.
Dustin J. Byrd, Ph.D. (2016), Michigan State University, is an Associate Professor of Religion, Philosophy and Arabic at Olivet College. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and manuscripts, including Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity, and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith (Brill, 2016).
Notes on Contributors
1 The Evolution of the Critical Theory of Religion and Society: Union, Disunion, and Reunion of the Sacred and the Profane (1946–2019): Part I
Rudolf J. Siebert
2 The Evolution of the Critical Theory of Religion and Society: Union, Disunion, and Reunion of the Sacred and the Profane (1946–2019): Part II
Rudolf J. Siebert
3 Towards a Dialectical Critique of Religion: Aufhaben and Tajdīd, and the Potential for Renovatio and Renewal
Dustin J. Byrd
4 Fomenting the Constellations of Revolutionary “Now-Time:” Walter Benjamin’s Dialectical Theory of Religion, Society and History
Michael R. Ott
5 Identity, Reconciliation, and Solidarity: Political-Theological Reflections
6 Siebert on Nationalism as Pathology
Denis R. Janz
7 April 1945 – The War is Over in Frankfurt am Main
Hans K. Weitensteiner
8 Bošković’s Epistemological Approach: The Foundation of a New Spirituality?
9 The Power of Ideas and Life: Alexander Herzen and the Russian Intelligentsia – an Outline
10 KJV in the USA: The Impact of the King James Bible in America
Brian C. Wilson
11 “Islamic Colonization” and the Coming European “Wretched:” On the Ideology of Alt-Fascism
Dustin J. Byrd
12 Globalization Challenge: Economic Unification vs. Cultural and Religious Differences
13 Laudato Si’
All interested in the Frankfurt School, Critical Theory, Dialectical Religion, Contemporary German Thought, and the intersection between contemporary history, philosophy, and religion.