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.
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. 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 Journal, which covers all matters relating to Islam and Muslims. IPJ is a peer-reviewed journal that is published bi-annually 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 his 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 just completed the editing of Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert’s work on Hegel for publication by Ekpyrosis Press. The book is tentatively titled Hegel and the Critical Theory of Religion.
6) I am currently editing a book entitled The Many Faces of Populism: Perspectives from Critical Theory and Beyond, with Młado 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.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ekpyrosis Press:
I have recently 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 Resten 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. Additionally, we have released our first three books, The Critical Theory of Religion: From the Frankfurt School to Emancipatory Islamic Thought, The Frankfurt School and the Dialectics of Religion: Translating Critical Faith into Critical Theory, and Ali Shariati: Expanding the Sociological Canon. We are currently preparing our next five books for publication:
1) Hegel and the Critical Theory of Religion, by Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert.
2) Still a Threat: On the Dark Charisma of Donald Trump, by Dustin J. Byrd.
3) Critical Theory and Political Theology: Determinate Negation, by Rudolf J. Siebert.
4) The Political Theory of Sayyid Qutb: A Genealogy of Discourse, by Mohamed Soffar.
5) Islam and Post-Modernism: Iqbal as a Turning Point, Amjad Hussain.
Ekpyrosis Press on YouTube: Ekpyrosis Press Video