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, Russian political thought, and contemporary Islamic thought. I am especially interested in the intersection of the political and the religious in Western, Russian, and Islamic thought and praxis.

Education:

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 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 a full Professor (2022). I teach courses on philosophy, religion, ethics, visionary thinkers, political theory, Arabic, psychoanalytic political theory, civilization studies, political science, and Russian history. I have taught for Olivet College in Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and have presented my work in numerous other countries, including Canada, Croatia, and Ukraine. 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).

Dialectical-Religion.org

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 doktorv√§ter (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

Author:

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

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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