About Dustin J. Byrd

“Head of John the Baptist” in Carrara marble by the Polish artist Igor Mitoraj (2006). Photo by Dustin J. Byrd. Basilica Santa Maria deli Angeli e dei Martiri (Rome) (2014).

Who I am:

I am a specialist in political and social philosophy, with an emphasis on the Frankfurt School, Critical Theory of Religion, psychoanalytic political theory, and contemporary Islamic thought. I am especially interested in the intersection of the political and the religious in Western and Islamic thought and praxis.


I received my B.A. (2000) from Western Michigan University, wherein I studied comparative religion, philosophy, history, and music. I continued my studies at WMU, earning my M.A. in comparative religion (2006), under the mentorship of the critical theorist Rudolf J. Siebert, specializing in the Frankfurt School and contemporary Islamic thought. I received my Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Social and Political Philosophy (2017) with a dissertation on the Frankfurt School’s translation of certain Jewish and Christian theological concepts into critical political philosophy, and how those post-metaphysical translations can aid Western Muslims in their attempt to be integrated into the secular public sphere as well as into secular polity.

Current Position:

Since 2008, I have taught at Olivet College, in Olivet, Michigan, where I am now an Associate Professor. I teach courses on philosophy, religion, visionary thinkers, political theory, Arabic, and civilization studies, as well as classes abroad in philosophy and religion. I am also a Visiting Professor at Michigan State University, Department of Religious Studies. For a list of classes I’ve taught, see: classes

Islamic Perspective Journal:

In 2018 I accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief of Islamic Perspective Journalwhich covers all matters relating to Islam and Muslims. IPJ is a peer-reviewed journal that is published bi-annually by the Institute for Critical Social Theory (formerly published by the London Academy of Iranian Studies).


In 2020, I founded the non-profit organization Dialectical-Religion, which is dedicated to the study, preservation, and continual development of the Critical Theory of Religion and Society, as founded by Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert. Serving as my doktorvater (doctor father) and mentor for the last three decades, Dr. Siebert’s “dialectical religiology” incorporates theology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, history, in its critical analyses, and has had an enormous influence on my own work in the Critical Theory of Religion. To learn more about Dr. Siebert and the work of Dialectical Religion, see the website: dialectical-religion.org


I am the author of numerous books and articles on the topic of political philosophy, critical theory, Islam, and modernity. Please see my publications page for a list of my publications: Publications

Current Research Projects:

1) I am writing a book on the political, philosophical, and religious foundations of far-right identitarian movements in Europe and the United States, which I intend to publish in 2022.

2) I am currently writing a book dedicated to a psychoanalytic-political analysis of Donald J. Trump, his followers, and what it means for the future of American democracy.

3) I am also engaged in research on Pope Francis and his strenuous relationship to identitarian  and populist movements in Europe, especially over the subject of immigration, multiculturalism, and the role of Christianity in Europe’s modern identity.

4) I am researching the figure of Girolamo Savonarola, the 15th century Dominican friar of Florence who led a revolt against the D’Medici family. From the perspective of critical political philosophy, I am attempting to translate Savonarola’s critique of early modernity into contemporary post-metaphysical language.

5) I am currently editing a book with Seyed Javad Miri, entitled, Syed Hussein Alatas and Critical Social Theory: Decolonizing the Captive Mind. This book will be published by Brill win 2022/2023.

6) I am currently editing a book entitled The Many Faces of Populism: Perspectives from Critical Theory and Beyond, with MÅ‚ado Ivanovich (Northern Michigan University) and Jeremiah Morelock (Boston College).

7) I am currently co-editing a book on Sigmund Freud and the relevance of psychoanalysis to critical social theory with Seyed Javad Miri. This book will be published by Brill in 2024.

8) I am currently co-editing a book on the Iranian social theorist, Ali Shariati. This book will be published by Ekpyrosis Press in 2023.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ekpyrosis Press:

In 2019, I established a new peer-reviewed academic publishing house: Ekpyrosis Press. This independent press will focus on critical works within philosophy, religion, psychoanalysis, history, literature, sociology, etc., in an attempt to reclaim Western civilization and the Western traditional thought from those who wish to weaponize it against “Restern” societies and peoples. Ekpyrosis Press is founded upon the idea that when the West has a strong sense-of-itself, rooted in its own cultural resources, it does not fear others. Rather, it enters into a robust dialogue, discourse, and debate with them on the basis of friendship and good will, and is open to all peoples. Ekpyrosis Press is currently accepting book proposals.

Ekpyrosis Press on YouTube

Institute for Critical Social Theory

In 2021, I founded the Institute for Critical Social Theory, which I co-direct with Seyed Javad Miri, Ph.D. This institute is dedicated to inter-disciplinary collaborative work, with scholars from around the globe. If you are interested in such critical work, please see the website.

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