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About the Contributors

Braja Bihārī Dāsa is the director of ISKCONResolve, ISKCON’s conflict management system. He holds a masters degree in Conflict Transformation and Organizational Development. He is a trained mediator and ombudsman having mediated dozens of ISKCON-related conflicts and met with hundreds of visitors to ISKCON’s ombuds office. He is part of a team of trainers who are introducing mediation in the Indian judicial system. He is the former director of the Vrindavan Institute of Higher Education. Originally from New York, he joined ISKCON in 1977. He now lives in Vṛndāvana, India, with his wife, Ānanda Vṛndāvaneśvari Devī Dāsī, and their son, Gopīnātha.

Måns Broo (Bhṛgupāda Dāsa) is a lecturer and researcher at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, where he received his Ph.D. in 2003. His recent publications include the first-ever Swedish translation of the principal Upaniṣads (with Martin Gansten), and he will soon publish a Swedish reader in the Hindu scriptures. At present, he is working on a Finnish study of Patanjali’s Yoga-sūtra.

Francis X. Clooney, SJ, a Roman Catholic priest and a member of the Society of Jesus, joined Harvard Divinity School in 2005. After earning his doctorate in South Asian Languages and Civilizations (University of Chicago, 1984), he taught at Boston College until going to Harvard. His primary areas of scholarship are theological commentarial writings in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hindu India, and the developing field of comparative theology, a discipline distinguished by attentiveness to the dynamics of theological learning deepened and complexified through the study of traditions other than one’s own. He has also written on the Jesuit missionary tradition, particularly in India, and the dynamics of dialogue in the contemporary world. He is on numerous editorial boards; was the first president of the International Society for Hindu-Christian Studies; and, from 1998 to 2004, was coordinator for interreligious dialogue for the Jesuits in the United States. Professor Clooney is the author of numerous articles and books, including Hindu God, Christian God (Oxford University Pres, 2001), Divine Mother, Blessed Mother: Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary (Oxford University Press, 2005), and Jesuit Postmodern: Scholarship, Vocation, and Identity in the 21st Century (Lexington Books, 2006). He has just completed two books: Beyond Compare: St. Francis de Sales and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God (Georgetown University Press 2008), and The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus (Peeters Publishers [Leuven] 2008). His current projects include an introductory volume on comparative theology.

Ravi M. Guptais Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at The College of William and Mary (USA) and a Lecturer at Bhaktivedanta College, Belgium. Prior to this, he taught at Centre College of Kentucky and the University of Florida. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Oxford and was formerly a Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford. Ravi has taught numerous courses in Hinduism and World Religions, and is the recipient of the David Hughes award for excellence in teaching. He is the author of The Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Goswami (Routledge, 2007) as well as several articles in Hindu Studies. He is currently co-editing a book on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa.

Simon Haas received his degree in law from Cambridge University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Study of Religion at Oxford. He has assisted in the copyediting, proofreading, and revision of more than fifty English books and articles on Hinduism published in India between 2000 and 2008. Simon is also a partner at Barrantes & Haas, an independent legal and political consultancy in the UK and founder of English Word Factory, a legal and commercial copywriting, editing, and proofreading firm. He lives in Oxford.

Marie Ann Ostlund (Merudevī Dāsī) is a graduate student at the University of Wales, Lampeter, where she studies for a Masters in Religion, Politics, and International Relations. She lives in Oxford, England. She is a member of the editorial board of the ISKCON Studies Journal and was director of ISKCON Communications Europe from 2003-6.

Ferdinando Sardella received a BA with a major in Religious Studies at Gothenburg University, Sweden, and has studied Indology and Sanskrit at Stockholm University. For his MA thesis in History of Religions, Sardella conducted field work in spring 2002 to research contemporary Vaiṣṇavism in Bengal. In 2004 he entered a Ph.D. programme in History of Religions at Gothenburg University and has spent a total of one year in Bengal from 2004 to 2008. His present research explores the role played by Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī (1874–1937), a Bengali Vaiṣṇava, within the frame of the historical encounter between Hinduism and European culture. He is affiliated to the Department of Sociology at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, and spent four months in 2008 at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies through a scholarship by STINT (Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education).

Stefanie Schott (Sudevī Dāsī) is a faculty member of Bhaktivedanta College, Radhadesh, where she earned her BA in Vaiṣṇava Theology in 2007 and where she presently teaches courses in Vaiṣṇava Vedānta and various Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava texts. She is also pursuing her MA in Religious Studies at Lampeter University, Wales, while working to establish connections between Bhaktivedanta College and other universities in Belgium.

Tattvavit Dāsa joined ISKCON in 1974 in California and received initiation from ISKCON’s founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, that summer. He was on the staff of Back to Godhead (BTG) magazine for five years in the 1980s. He has written a dozen articles for BTG and edited a dozen books. From 2002 on, for four years, at Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, he taught students how to improve their essays.

Yadunandana Swami has been the Principal of Bhaktivedanta College since its inception in 2002. He joined ISKCON in 1977 in Spain, when he was fourteen. For more than twenty years he has performed leadership and educational services within ISKCON. He is doing postgraduate work in the Study of Religion at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Presently, he is also an executive member of the ISKCON Ministry for Educational Development.