Dr. James Justin Sledge was born and raised in a proud working-class Mississippi family. He learned the fundamental value of labor from his father who was a pipe-fitter and the crucial importance of un-waged labor from his mother.
A first generation college student, Dr. Sledge earned his undergraduate degree at Millsaps College then went for a DRS in religious studies (Western Esotericism and Related Currents) at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and a MA and PhD in philosophy at the University of Memphis.
He is currently a part-time professor of philosophy and religion at several institutions in the Metro-Detroit area and a popular local educator.
Dr. Sledge has two different but equally important fields of research:
Dr. Sledge’s work engages with Religious Studies specifically in the so-called “Western Esoteric Tradition” or Hermetic Tradition in religious and philosophical thought. In this line of research he seeks to grasps the philosophical commitments which underpin the alleged workings of magic, esoteric influence, spirit possession, alchemy, etc. This field of inquiry brings him primarily into contact with philosophers and intellectuals regrettably disregarded by the modern philosophic canon.
His work also intersection between metaphysics, ethics and radical political philosophy. His dissertation reflects this interest through a careful analysis of the meta-ethics of Karl Marx. There Dr. Sledge argues that Marx’s emerging materialist theory of history ultimately pins him as electing a kind of ethics of virtue with the ethical dialectic of this epoch being solidarity-reification.
He is currently preparing material on the Ancient Near Eastern Prophetic Tradition, spirit possession in the early modern Jewish world, and is slowly working through the Zohar (which he will be doing the rest of his life).
Outside of his academic and YouTube work Justin is a calligrapher, home brewer, Go player, DM, HAM radio technician (KE8NAW) and habitual trouble-maker (see picture on right for long standing proof). He lives in Detroit, Michigan with his amazing partner Rabbi Alana Alpert, two kiddos, and pup Mississippi.
Not-Fun-Fact: I once broke my arm twice in one day