Now Available: “Critical Theory of Religion: From the Frankfurt School to Emancipatory Islamic Thought,” by Dustin J. Byrd, Ph.D.

The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School is often understood to be a wholly Western endeavor, unable to migrate outside of the geography and culture that gave birth to it. However, in this volume, the author demonstrates that the emancipatory, liberational, and revolutionary potentials developed by Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, and Erich Fromm, who were rooted in Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, can help shed light on the nature of contemporary Islam, Islamic thought, and Islamic political theology. This timely and important book attempts to establish connections between the dialectical philosophy of the Frankfurt School and Islamic Studies, wherein the penetrating philosophical, sociological, psychological, and theological elements which constitute critical theory can find “common ground” with the prophetic religion of Islam. As Dr. Byrd argues, both the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory and prophetic Islam strive toward a word beyond the given; they struggle for a world that is more justice-filled, peaceful, and equal, wherein the antagonisms that currently saturate and dominate contemporary life are reconciled. This book is a small attempt to bring those two traditions together, so that the Socratic and the Prophetic may together determinately negate the dysgenic conditions that plague our modern world.

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