Critical Theory of Religion: From the Frankfurt School to Emancipatory Islamic Thought, by Dustin J. Byrd

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Critical Theory of Religion: From the Frankfurt School to Emancipatory Islamic Thought is a collection of essays by the critical theorist Dustin J. Byrd, written over the course of ten years. They range from the Frankfurt School’s political secularization of Judaism’s image ban (bilderverbot) to various encounters between Western and Islamic thinkers. The later essays focus intensely on the “daseinkampf” that has now engrossed the modern multicultural West. They ask, “what does it mean to be Western, and how do Islam and Muslims fit into that Western identity?” This book is essential reading for those interested in the intersection of religion and politics, modern Western identity thought, and the struggle for a future wherein Muslims and Westerners can find common ground and live in peace as neighbors.

Dustin J. Byrd, Ph.D. is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Olivet College. He is also a Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ekpyrosis Press, as well as the Founder and Co-Director of the Institute for Critical Social Theory. His personal website can be found at: www.dustinjbyrd.org

Paperback. 188 pages.

Published: January 1st, 2020.

ISBN: 978-1-7350576-0-6

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Additional information

Weight 15.5 oz
Dimensions 6 × 9 × 2 in
Table of Contents

1) Introduction

2) Bilderverbot and Utopia: On the Apophatic God and Imageless Society

3) God is Dead but not Forgotten: Horkheimer's Critique of Nietzsche's Philosophy of Religion

4) Walter Benjamin's Theory of Divine Violence and Political Messianism

5) Nietzsche Transvaluation of Islam: Philosophical Orientalism and its Consequences

6) Bediüzzaman Said Nursi's Risale-i Nur and Critical theory: Finding a Common Cause between Prophetic Religion and Materialist Philosophy

7) Ali Shariati and the Dialectics of Authenticity

8) Neither Man nor Beast: Dehumanization in Direct and Systematic Violence

9) Apocatastasis and the Far-Right's "Return" to Religion: Against the Muslim Other

10) The Return of Volksgemeinschaft: On Islam and European Identity



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