Ekpyrosis Press – Coming in 2020

Ekpyrosis Press is a new academic press dedicated to publishing books and articles that advance the following three principles:

  1. Know Thyself (γνῶθι σεαυτόν): Ekpyrosis Press is engaged in a rediscovery and revivification of the Western arts and sciences, rooted in the three seedbed societies: Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. This is especially important in the face of growing nationalism, which seeks to use Western heritage as a weapon against other peoples. The West is strongest when it knows itself; it does not fear others when it does.
  2. Inter-civilizational Discourse: Ekpyrosis Press is dedicated to engaging in robust discourses with other civilizations, including the Muslim World, with the practical intent to lessen misunderstandings, hatred, and war.
  3. The Hopeless (Die Hoffnungslosen): Ekpyrosis Press is dedicated to the defense of the hopeless and the marginalized in Western and Resten societies. Strength does not flow from barbarity, rather it is a feature of solidarity with those who find themselves in the ditch of history.
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Out this October: Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched (Brill)

Seyed Javad Miri and I are pleased to announce that our new co-edited volume, Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched, is scheduled to be released in September of 2019 by Brill. Book Information Here

In this book we bring together a collection of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, revolutionary, and social theorist. Fanon’s work not only gave voice to the “wretched” in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), but also shaped the radical resistance to colonialism, empire, and racism throughout much of the world. His seminal works, such as Black Skin, White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, were read by The Black Panther Party in the United States, anti-imperialists in Africa and Asia, and anti-monarchist revolutionaries in the Middle East. Today, many revolutionaries and scholars have returned to Fanon’s work, as it continues to shed light on the nature of colonial domination, racism, and class oppression.

Additionally, we were especially pleased to have had Mumia Abu-Jamal join us in this project. Due to his continual unjust incarceration, it is made exceedingly difficult by the American incarceral state to have his work published. Nevertheless, Mumia is an important interpreter of Frantz Fanon and they cannot silence his truth. In this volume, Mumia has written about the influence of Frantz Fanon on the Black Panther Party. Free Mumia

Contributors include: Mumia Abu-Jamal, Syed Farid Alatas, Rose Brewer, Dustin J. Byrd, Sean Chabot, Richard Curtis, Nigel C. Gibson, Ali Harfouch, Timothy Kerswell, Seyed Javad Miri, Pramod K. Nayar, Elena Flores Ruíz, Majid Sharifi, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib and Esmaeil Zeiny.



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Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith

I am pleased to announce the release of my new book, Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith, published by Brill (Leiden, The Netherlands). This book critically examines the unique challenges facing Muslims in Europe and North America. From the philosophical perspective of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, this book attempts not only to diagnose the current problems stemming from a marginalization of Islam in the secular West, but also to offer a proposal for a Habermasian discourse between the religious and the secular. By highlighting historical examples of Islamic and western rapprochement, and rejecting the clash of civilization thesis, the author attempts to find a common language between the religious and the secular, which can serve as a vehicle for a future reconciliation.

It is available for purchase on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and other intelligent bookstores. It can also be found on Brill’s website.

Brill Academic Publishing (2016) ISBN: 978-9004325357 356 pp. $178.00 (List price)

Hardcover: Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity, and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith

The paperback was released by Haymarket Books in Chicago, in late 2017 ($28)

Paperback: Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity, and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith






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Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert Retires from Western Michigan University

Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert, critical theorist, mentor, and dear friend has retired from teaching at Western Michigan University after 54 years. Since he came to WMU in 1965, he has educated thousands of students throughout the world in the Critical Theory of Religion and Society. Rooted in the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, as developed by Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Jürgen Habermas, and others, the Critical Theory of Religion and Society continues to view the world through a dialectical lens, as it cross-pollinates other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Critical Theory of Religion and Society is a future-oriented remembrance of human suffering, misery, and oppression, with the practical intent to bring about a more reconciled, peaceful, and justice-filled future society. WMU will honor Dr. Siebert with a conference on November 16th, 2019, entitled “Critical Theory and the Study of Religion: Conference in Honor of Rudolf J. Siebert.” It will be held at the Fetzer Center at WMU and is open to the public.

If you would like to send him a retirement letter, his email is: rudolf.siebert@wmich.edu

See the WMU’s article about Dr. Siebert’s retirement below:

Rudolf J. Siebert Retires from WMU

Also see the Rudolf J. Siebert Audio-Visual Archive:

Rudolf J. Siebert Audio-Visual Archive

Here’s the link to Dr. Siebert’s personal webpage:

Rudolf J. Siebert

Dr. Siebert’s 92nd Birthday Speech:

92nd Birthday Speech

New Podcasts: Life and Times of Rudolf J. Siebert – Interviewed by Dustin J. Byrd

Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert is a critical theorist of religion and society from Frankfurt, Germany. At the age of 15, he was drafted in the Luftwaffe (German Air Force), and later fought in the Wehrmacht (German Army). Nevertheless, having been a part of the Catholic Youth Movement, he remained opposed to the Nazi war goals. Upon being captured by the American Army, he was taken back to the United States as a prisoner of war. In the P.O.W. camp, he was introduced to the Frankfurt School for Social Research, and eventually sent back to Germany to help democratize it. Later, in the 1960s, after having studied theology, history, psychology, literature, and philosophy, he returned to the United States to begin teaching on the east coast. In 1965 he accepted a position in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University, where he has taught for 54 years. Dr. Siebert, now in his 90s, has taken what he calls an “early” retirement from teaching as of August 2019, but continues to write and publish on the Critical Theory of Religion and Society.

In these podcasts, produced by Rob Byrd’s Moondog Saturday Morning Show, Dr. Dustin J. Byrd interviews his Doktorvater (Doctor-Father), Rudolf J. Siebert, about his long and assorted biography. From Frankfurt to Kalamazoo, from one war to the next, it’s all here:

Life and Times of Rudolf J. Siebert – Part 1

Life and Times of Rudolf J. Siebert – Part 2

Life and Times of Rudolf J. Siebert – Part 3


New Publication in The Muslim World journal: “To be a Saint and a Sultan in a Post-Secular Society: Translating a Thirteenth Century Religious Discourse in order to Rescue the Modern World”

The Muslim World journal (Wiley), published by Hartford Seminary, just released their latest edition, dedicated to the memory of the 800 year anniversary of the meeting between Saint Francis of Assisi and the Ayyubid Sultan Malik al-Kamil. I was given the honor of contributing to this endeavor with my article “To be a Saint and a Sultan in a Post-Secular Society: Translating a Thirteenth Century Religious Discourse in order to Rescue the Modern World.” This edition of the journal, Vol. 109 Issue 1-2 January/April, was edited by Jason Welle, Dean of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome, Italy), and Dr. Fareed Munir, Professor of Religious Studies at Siena College, NY.

My essay can be found here:

To be a Saint and a Sultan

Image result for saint francis and sultan malik al-kamil


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