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A collection of the writings of Dr. Dietrich F. Seidel, compiled and edited by Dr. Jennifer P. Tanabe.
Dr. Tanabe first met the Seidels in 1988 at Unification Theological Seminary where Dietrich had recently taken a position as professor of theology. She quickly learned that he was a true scholar and a gentleman, a deep and reflective thinker with a generous and kind nature. This selection reflects Dietrich’s ability to unify and harmonize those apparently 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 the reader will learn that he trained as a scientist in Austria, but never lost his faith in God, a faith that 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 writings 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 essays comprising the rest of this collection highlight his writings on marriage and family enrichment. Here, readers will find practical advice on improving their relationship with their spouse, child rearing, making God central to their 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.
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This collection of writings by academic Dietrich F. Seidel offers many highlights in the life of this remarkable man. His scholarly articles reveal his genuine intellect, devotion to God and desire to see harmony between religion and science. But it is his wise and passionate marriage writings that appeal to me, a lay marriage mentor. Dietrich understood that loving relationships are paramount to a happy, satisfying life—and well worth the investments of time, energy and affection. Anyone in search of sound advice about marriage and parenting will be well served by his words.
~Cheryl Wetzstein, veteran journalist, lay marriage mentor, wife and mother
Seidel’s work is remarkable for its scope and depth, its clarity and its personal touch. With writings ranging broadly from thoughtful scholarly analysis to devotional confession to wise guidance on family dynamics, this volume is a rich resource for anyone seeking greater understanding of Unification teachings, of one man’s spiritual journey or practical ideas for nurturing family harmony. A rich treasure from a deep-hearted scholar.
~Farley Jones, President, Pacific Rim Education Foundation
This book will make you think-and more importantly feel-what God’s hope is for humankind in terms of genuine love between human beings and God. It will help you discover a new understanding of the kind of love God wants to see expressed between husband and wife and among members of each and every family around the world, and how this can be achieved.
Dietrich Seidel is both a devoted husband and father and a consummate theologian and educator. In addition, he and his wife Elisabeth have been globe-trotting marriage and family coaches, offering seminars and workshops on improving marriages and overcoming self-centeredness in relationships. These experiences have uniquely qualified Seidel to write this book of essays.
As you read, you will find yourself transported from the fascinating details of his life presented in his autobiographical essay, to Olympian insights about how love develops between God and us (with our Herculean effort), to nuts-and-bolts pointers on how to strengthen the fiber of our love for our spouse as well as how to maintain a good give and take of love with our children.
All in all, it is hearty food for the intellect and for the soul.
~Robert Selle, writer, Washington DC