David Crumm is known nationwide as a top journalist covering religion, spirituality and cross-cultural issues. In nearly 40 years of journalism, Crumm has reported from the U.S., the Middle East, Rome, Canterbury and Asia, compiling a body of work that has been honored with a long list of awards and fellowships. Among the most important, Crumm has won six of the annual Wilbur awards for the best column on religion in a major newspaper. Among his fellowships, he has traveled and worked with the Washington D.C.-based East-West Center, focusing on coverage of Asia, as well as the University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellowship for mid-career research.
John W. Crossin, OSFS, is a Roman Catholic moral theologian and ethicist. He was named executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB’s) Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in 2011. Father Crossin served most recently as executive director of the Washington Theological Consortium, 1998-2011. He holds a Ph.D. in Moral Theology and master’s degrees in Psychology andTheology from The Catholic University of America. He is past president of the North American Academy of Ecumenists and the Thomas More Society of Washington. He is widely published in theological journals and is author of the following books: Everyday Virtues (2014); Walking in Virtue: Moral Decisions and Spiritual Growth in Daily Life (1997); Friendship: The Key to Spiritual Growth; and What Are They Saying About Virtue? (2014).
David C. Cramer is a doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Religion at Baylor University. Having grown up in an evangelical context, his first serious encounter with religious pluralism was through reading and subsequently writing his master’s thesis on the religious epistemology of John Hick while at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he received his M.Div. and M.A. in philosophy of religion. For three years David taught in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Bethel College, Indiana, before beginning his studies at Baylor. He has published articles on religious pluralism, nonviolence, gender equality, and the theological ethics of John Howard Yoder in various academic journals and is co-editor of the recent volume, The Activist Impulse: Essays on the Intersection of Evangelicalism and Anabaptism (Pickwick, 2012). David, his wife Andrea, and their two young children are actively involved in Hope Fellowship, a Mennonite faith community in Waco, Texas.
Harriet Crabtree is the director of the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Before coming to work for IFN in 1990, Dr. Crabtree studied and worked in the United States, starting in 1981, living at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, where she received her masters and doctorate in theology.
T. Thorn Coyle is a San Francisco-based author and teacher who began in the Feri Tradition and the Reclaiming Tradition, but now works and teaches within her own “Morningstar” practice and “mystery school.”
Coyle is author of Evolutionary Witchcraft (2004), which offers exercises and meditations from the Feri Tradition as tools for personal growth and empowerment. She has also recorded two Pagan rock CDs, Face of a New Day and Give us a Kiss!, as well as an instructional DVD, Devotional Dance. With Sharon Knight, she wrote and recorded two albums of pagan devotional music, Songs for the Waning Year: A Collection of Chants to Celebrate the Dark Time of the Year and Songs for the Strengthening Sun: A Collection of Chants to Celebrate the Return of the Sun. She also contributed to the Pandemonaeon album Dangerous Beauty.
In 2008, Coyle began producing a series of podcasts called “Elemental Castings“ wherein she interviews practitioners of a variety of magical and mystical traditions on their study and work with the classical elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Aether (or Spirit).
Coyle’s second book, Kissing the Limitless: Deep Magic and the Great Work of Transforming Yourself and the World, was released on February 10, 2009.
Benjamin L. Corey is a writer, speaker, and avid tattoo collector, though even he forgets that fact since he lives in Maine and is bundled up for 11 months out of the year. He grew up in conservative evangelicalism, danced with fundamentalism, and found his home in Anabaptism. He holds a M.A. in Theology and a M.A. in World Missions from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is completing his doctorate at Fuller Seminary in the field of missiology, which combines theology and anthropology. Essentially, a missiologist studies the relationship between the message of Jesus and particular cultures.
In addition to writing for Patheos Progressive Christian, Ben is a contributor to Jim Wallis’ blog, God’s Politics on Sojourners, as well as Red Letter Christians, Evangelicals for Social Action, Mennonite World Review, and The Good Men Project. His first book, Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, hit the stores on August 19, 2014.
Anya Cordell is a speaker, writer, and activist. She is the recipient of the 2010 Spirit of Anne Frank Award, bestowed by The Anne Frank Center USA, and author of RACE: An OPEN & SHUT Case, which unravels presumptions of what we call “race,” named among the “books to change your life” by N’Digo Magazine. Anya, who is Jewish, founded The Campaign for Collateral Compassion, and has passionately countered post-9/11 hate-backlash against Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and others. Her programs for children through adults tackle “appearance-ism”, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and all stereotyping. See www.Appearance-ism.com.
Rev. Gail Collins-Ranadive, MA (Peace Studies), MFA (Creative Writing), MDiv, is the author of five books plus workshops, poems, essays, and pieces of literary non-fiction. An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, she has retired from a career in Interim Ministry and has returned to her primary passion of writing. Her interfaith interest began when she was 19 and, as a student nurse, she met an intern from India. Upon marrying him, she began studying world religions as presented by Huston Smith in The Religions of Man (1958), in particular the Hinduism of her in-laws in India. Her own religious path has been deeply informed by the insights of Joseph Campbell in Myths to Live By (1972), especially with his references to the psychology of Carl Jung. Her spirituality is grounded in the natural world, as reflected in the writings of the Unitarian transcendentalists, especially Emerson. In 1995, she heard Father Thomas Berry say “Put the Bible on the shelf and study Nature.” Since then, her life/work has been a conscious response to that challenge. She and her partner spend summers in Denver and winters in Las Vegas, where she connects with the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada.
Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. was born in 1925 to Methodist missionary parents in Kobe, Japan. Impending war brought the family back to the United States in 1940, where John completed high-school. The army assigned him to Japanese language study. He translated Japanese documents and served in the occupation of Japan. On discharge, he studied at the University of Chicago, where he first discovered the profundity of Buddhism. After receiving the PhD from the Divinity School, he taught for three years at Young Harris College in north Georgia. During the first year he was assigned as part-time pastor to a six-church circuit and established a seventh congregation. He taught for five years at Emory University before going to the Claremont School of Theology, where he taught from 1958 to 1990. He was visiting professor at universities in Germany and Japan as well as Chicago, Harvard, and elsewhere in the United States.
A lifelong student of Alfred North Whitehead, Professor Cobb pioneered in bringing ‘process thinking’ to Christian theology. Process theology, among other things, offers clarity and cogency about affirming one’s own faith without making others ‘wrong.’ Professor Cobb co-founded the journal Process Studies and the Center for Process Studies at Claremont. More than 40 books that he has written, edited or co-edited include Christian Faith and Religious Diversity (2002), The Emptying God: A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation (2005), 9/11 & American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out (2006), and, most recently, The Dialogue Comes of Age: Christian Encounters with Other Traditions (2011), reviewed in TIO’s inaugural September 15, 2011 issue.
Philip Clayton is the Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. Clayton has taught or held research professorships at Williams College, California State University, Harvard University, Cambridge University, and the University of Munich. His research focuses on biological emergence, religion and science, process studies, and contemporary issues in ecology, religion, and ethics. He is the recipient of multiple research grants and international lectureships, as well as the author of numerous books, including The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith (2011); Religion and Science: The Basics (2011); Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society (2009); and In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World (2009). He also edited The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (2006).
In books and lectures, Clayton works to formulate constructive theological responses to developments in contemporary science and philosophy. He has also been a leading advocate for comparative theology and the internationalization of the science-religion dialogue. As P.I. of the “Science and the Spiritual Quest” program and as Provost of a multi-faith university, he worked to expand these fields to include Muslim and Jewish scholars, the Dharma traditions of India, and the religious traditions of Southeast Asia.
Rev. Dr. Peter Yuichi Clark has been a leader in Bay Area hospital chaplaincy for more than fifteen years. After completing his doctorate, he went to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, California, eventually overseeing two dozen chaplains. Recently he moved to the UCSF Medical Center, one of the world’s great teaching hospitals. Chaplain Clark has been honored within and outside the medical community for his “extraordinary ability to relate to people of all ages, and how quickly he establishes rapport and trust.” He also has an unusual ability to relate to people across racial, cultural and other barriers and enjoys ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Chaplain Clark teaches pastoral care at the San Francisco Theological Seminary and the American Baptist Seminary of the West. He writes a religious calendar for chaplains called to minister to people of all faiths, published by The Interfaith Observer each month.
Richard Cizik formed the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good in January 2010 with David Gushee and Steve Martin. For ten years he had served as vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, a post he left in 2008. He has been a leader in bringing evangelicals and scientists together in the search for common ground on climate change.
In 2002 Cizik participated in Climate Forum 2002, at Oxford, England, which produced the “Oxford Declaration” on global warming. He was instrumental in creating the Evangelical Climate Initiative, introduced in 2006. In 2005, the New York Times dubbed him the “Earthy Evangelist” for his advocacy on climate change, and in 2008 he was named to Time Magazine’s list of the “Time 100” most influential people. In 2006, Fast Company placed him on its list of “Most Creative Minds.”
Cizik has written more than 100 articles and editorials and is the author and editor of The High Cost of Indifference. He contributed to the landmark document “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Engagement.”
Liam Chinn joined the United Religions Initiative (URI) team as director of Evaluation and Learning in March 2013. For the past decade he has worked with international and local NGOs on governance and peacebuilding programs in multiple countries across Asia, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Timor-Leste, where he directed a USAID funded conflict mitigation program. He brings extensive expertise in program development and evaluation and will guide URI as it begins to build regional impact evaluation strategies. He has a long held passion for promoting greater engagement of civil society in the development process, authoring several surveys on community level conflict and the role of local leaders – including religious leaders – in bridge building. Liam holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago and is an avid cook, trained in both Thai and Cantonese cuisines.
Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and director the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He has published several books, including Karma and Creativity (1986), a co-translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1991), Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), Hinduism and Ecology (2000), a co-edited volume, Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life (2002), and Reconciling Yogas (2003). Dr. Chapple serves on several advisory boards, including the Green Yoga Association (Oakland), the Ahimsa Center (Pomona), and the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale).
Paul-Gordon Chandler is the Founding President of CARAVAN, an international peacebuilding non-profit that uses the arts to build bridges between the creeds of the Middle East and West. An author, interfaith advocate, arts patron, social entrepreneur, and a U.S. Episcopal priest, he grew up in Muslim West Africa has lived and worked extensively throughout the Islamic world in leadership roles within faith-based publishing, relief and development agencies, and churches. From 2003-2013 he was the Rector of the international Episcopal church in Cairo, Egypt. His most recent book is titled IN SEARCH OF A PROPHET: A Spiritual Journey with Kahlil Gibran. For more information, see: www.paulgordonchandler.com.
W. Y. Alice Chan is the executive director of the Centre for Civic Religious Literacy, a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University, a PREVNet Emerging Scholar, and a co-chair for the Comparative and International Education Society’s Religion and Education Special Interest Group. Her teaching experiences and work in private and non-profit settings inform her work and research today. More detail about Alice is available at her LinkedIn page.
Biswadeb Chakraborty is the United Religions Initiative’s coordinator for east India. With graduate degrees in percussion (Indian drum) and human resource project management, his interfaith activism and musical career as performer and producer weave together beautifully. For six years Biswabed worked at Transformative Collaborations International, a California-based organizational development venture. In India and abroad he has worked with young human rights and interfaith activists, using his music to attract large numbers to the cause. From a deeply spiritual family that encouraged his early musical abilities, Biswabed is a networker bringing together artists, human rights activists, and interfaith organizations. His musical group Ektaan promotes a grassroots-supported, discrimination-free India on television and radio, in concerts, and on CDs.
Paul Chaffee is publisher and editor of The Interfaith Observer (TIO), a monthly internet magazine promoting healthy interfaith culture which began in September 2011. He was the founding executive director of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, where he served for 17 years. He sat on United Religions Initiative’s original Board of Directors for six years, was a trustee of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) for ten, and served as a Parliament Ambassador for the Parliament of the World’s Religions for three.
Paul led the teams which planned the initial URI-North America summit in 2001 and NAIN’s 20th anniversary NAINConnect in 2008. Over the years Paul has started and/or edited numerous newsletters, including Bay Area Interfaith Connect, published each month by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. His publications include Accountable Leadership (2nd edition, 1996), Shared Wisdom (2004), a booklet about developing interfaith relationships, and Remembered Light (2007). Ordained in the United Church of Christ. Rev. Chaffee was honored as a Distinguished Alum at Pacific School of Religion in 2007 and as an Interfaith Visionary by the Temple of Understanding at its 50th anniversary in 2010.
Jan Chaffee, as a young girl in Ohio, decided San Francisco was where she wanted to live. Turning 21, she made the move and her family followed. She spent twenty years as a legal secretary, most of it with Louis O. Kelso, the pioneering economist who created the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and other corporate financing techniques that build private ownership of productive capital into employees and other citizens. In 1996, with her husband Paul Chaffee, Jan helped found the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, managing its funds for 15 years and Chapel use for a dozen. As such, she was on the front-end of interfaith celebrations, weddings, concerts, funerals, programs, staffing, and administration. With Paul, she retired from the Center at the end of 2010. Today Jan oversees The Interfaith Observer’s finances.
Justin Catanoso is a professor of journalism at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and a regular contributor to Mongabay.com, a leading global environmental news organization. He specializes in reporting on climate change policy and has covered the last three United Nations climate summits, including the historic agreement in Paris in 2015. More specifically, Catanoso covered the release of Pope Francis' papal encyclical Laudato Si in Rome. He later wrote a series of stories from Peru on the intersection between faith and environmental protection, and whether the pope's message would be heeded by Peruvian leaders in governmental, business, education and the Catholic church. His 2015 reporting on the subject, which he continues to follow, was sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, DC.