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: