Photo: Dietrich F. Seidel and Elisabeth Seidel, cover of Volume I of Dietrich's writings.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce this collection of articles written by my long-time colleague, Dr. Dietrich Seidel. Publishing his teachings is one of the last projects he worked on in his earthly life. Dietrich passed away in November, shortly before this book was ready for publication. With the help of his wife, Elisabeth, and the support of their children, Chris and Diesa, the work has continued and this first volume is now complete.
I first met Dietrich in 1988 at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) in Barrytown, New York. Dietrich had recently joined the faculty there and I quickly learned that he was a true scholar and a gentleman, a deep and reflective thinker with a generous and kind nature. This collection reflects his ability to unify and harmonize even those at odds, such as science and religion, different religious denominations, and his specialty—married couples in need of counseling.
The first chapter in this volume is his Autobiography, written in 2014. There you will learn that Dietrich trained as a scientist in Austria, but never lost his faith in God, a faith which guided his life and illuminates his work. An encounter with missionaries from Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church in Vienna in 1968 led to his conversion from Roman Catholicism to Unificationism. Reflective pieces on his experiences as a Unificationist are included in this collection, interspersed with his other writings.
After the Autobiography, the articles are arranged in chronological order. The next several chapters consist of essays on religious topics such as prayer, the fall of humankind, and the love of God. A significant academic piece is entitled “Understanding the Ideal of Marriage from a Dialectical Perspective: A Comparative Study of Schleiermacher and Unification Thought.” This paper reveals his longtime interest, which he has developed both academically and professionally, namely the study of marriage and family.
The articles which comprise the rest of this collection highlight his writings on marriage and family enrichment. Here you will find practical advice on improving your relationship with your spouse, child rearing, making God central to your family, and finding true love, all presented in an enjoyable and easy-to-read style.
The concluding articles return to a more serious and scholarly form and topic, namely achieving world peace through the creation of ideal families that manifest true love.
Throughout his writings Dietrich Seidel encourages all of us to use our individual talents and abilities not just to better ourselves, but to build successful families and a peaceful world of harmony and joy reflecting God’s ideal. It is my hope that this collection will contribute to the accomplishment of this vision. The book will be available in January 2017.
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