Abrahamic religions, critical theory of society, dialectical religiology, G W F Hegel, Karl Marx, Meister Eckhart


In our essay we trace the evolution of the critical theory of religion, or comparative dialectical religiology, out of the critical theory of society of the Institute for Social Research or the Frankfurt School. For us, the history of religions reflects the history of humanity’s intellectual and spiritual evolution. As we developed our critical theory of religion, we have tried to supersede concretely the great accomplishments of three generations of critical theorists, particularly in the field of religion. One main theme of our critical theory of religion is the dialectic of two modes of existence: having and being; egoism and altruism. As we determinately negated the critical theory of society into our comparative dialectical religiology, we also penetrated deeper into its roots in the works of Kant and Hegel, Marx and Freud, Judaism and Christianity, particularly into the mystical theology of the great dialectician Meister Eckhart and of his many modern followers. We conclude our essay with the vision of the City of Being.


Original Citation: Siebert, Rudolf J., Michael R. Ott, and Dustin J. Byrd. "The Critical Theory of Religion: From Having to Being." Critical Research on Religion 1, no. 1 (2013): 33-42.