Ekpyrosis Press author, Rudolf J. Siebert, sat down with Dr. Dustin J. Byrd to discuss the Frankfurt School’s relationship with religion, especially Judaism and Christianity. Unlike their predecessors, especially Feuerbach, Marx, Lenin, Nietzsche, and Freud, the first generation of Critical Theorists saw something worthy of being rescued in religion. As such, Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Fromm, and Löwenthal, all attempted to translate religion semantics and semiotics into post-metaphysical language – language assessable outside of the closed semantic universe of religion and theology. This project was later carried on by the second generation critical theorists, such as Jürgen Habermas and Rudolf J. Siebert. This discourse was sponsored by Ekpyrosis Press and the Institute for Critical Social Theory.
In this introspective discussion, Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert, Critical Theorist and Catholic Theologian, discusses with Dr. Dustin J. Byrd the life, work, and legacy of Joseph Ratzinger, i.e., Pope Benedict XVI. Siebert and Ratzinger have many commonalities: they were born the same year; they grew up in Hitler’s Third Reich; they both attended the Hitler Youth; they both were drafted into the Luftwaffenhelfer and later the Wehrmacht; they both were imprisoned in Prisoner-of-War camps; they were both deemed “anti-Nazis” by the Allied forces, and they both entered into the Catholic seminary. However, Siebert chose not to be ordained and had a long and distinguished career in academia – predominately in the United States, whereas Ratzinger chose an academic career within the church and eventually rose to become the 265th Pontiff. This discussion was sponsored by Ekpyrosis Press and the Institute for Critical Social Theory.
On December 17th, 2022, with its partner, the Institute for Critical Social Theory, Ekpyrosis Press sponsored an online seminar to discuss the many challenges that humanity is currently facing. The seminar included Dr. Dustin J. Byrd, Dr. Seyed Javad Miri, Dr. Michael Naughton, Dr. Mehdi Shariati, and Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert. They discussed issues of war, global climate change, authoritarian populism, political-economic disparities, as well as miscarriages of justice.
On December 14th, Ekpyrosis Press author, Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert, discussed the history and role of Freudian Psychoanalysis with Dr. Dustin J. Byrd. Among the topics discussed were how Freudian Psychoanalysis came to be an integral part of Critical Theory; the differences in interpretation of Freud among the Frankfurt School members; Freud’s abstract negation of religion in distinction to the Frankfurt School’s dialectical negation of religion, etc.
In this video, the Critical Theorist, Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert, chats with the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ekpyrosis Press, Dr. Dustin J. Byrd, about what the Frankfurt School called the “authoritarian personality,” and how it expresses itself in politics, society, and the family.