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Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried

The Troth, Thor’s Oak Kindred


Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Humanities of the Lewis College of Human Sciences at the Illinois Institute of Technology. As Seminar Faculty at Newberry Library, he teaches literature, mythology, and religion. He has also taught Norse myth and religion at Loyola University and Carthage College. He is the first practitioner of Ásatrú to hold a graduate degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School. While at the university, he was President of Interfaith Dialogue and served on the Spiritual Life Council. He holds degrees in literature and music from University of California at San Diego, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and University of Texas at Austin. He studied literature and art history at Loyola University Chicago Rome Center in Italy and has taken Icelandic language courses through University of Iceland.

Karl's website, The Norse Mythology Blog, was named the world's Best Religion Weblog in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In addition to original articles and interviews, the site features projects such as the Worldwide Heathen Census 2013. Karl is also a featured columnist for The Wild Hunt, the primary international source for news and commentary relating to minority religions.

Karl’s writing on myth and religion has been broadcast on the BBC and published in Herdfeuer, Iceland Magazine, Interfaith Ramadan, Joseph Campbell Foundation’s MythNow, On Religion, Religion and Ethics, and Reykjavík Grapevine. He has been interviewed by the ABC, BBC, Chronicle of Higher Education, Daily Beast, History Channel, Inverse, OnFaith, Public Radio International's The World, Raven Radio, and Viking Magazine. He has been a featured lecturer at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wagner Society of America, and Wheaton College.

Karl is the author of all definitions relating to Ásatrú in the Religion Newswriters Association’s Religion Stylebook, co-author of the Heathen Resource Guide for Chaplains written for the U.S. Department of Defense, writer of the first piece by a practitioner of Ásatrú to be published in Sightings of the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and editor of The Illustrated Hávamál.

Karl’s articles on magic and power in Sansksrit texts and on a Lokasenna analogue in the Mahābhārata were published in Journal of the Oriental Institute, the peer-reviewed academic publication of MSU of Baroda (India). Forthcoming academic publications include “Children of Heimdall: Ásatrú Ideas of Ancestry” in Revisionism and Diversification in New Religious Movements, Vol. 2 (Ashgate Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements, Routledge) and “Ásatrú and Hindu: From Prophecy to Dialogue” in Holy Envy: Learning from Traditions Other and Our Own (Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, publisher TBA). Karl will also edit The Illustrated Völuspá, to be released in 2018.
Karl serves as goði of Thor’s Oak Kindred, an inclusive organization dedicated to the practice of the Ásatrú religion in Chicago. The group is a member of the Troth Kindred Program and provides local and regional representation for the Troth.