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Click on the contributor's name for a short biography. The names of initiated members of ISKCON are listed by their first initial.

James A. Beckford is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. His research is concerned with politics and religion, publicly funded chaplaincies and new religious movements. His principle publications include, The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Analysis of Jehovah's Witnesses, Cult Controversies: the Societal Response to New Religious Movements and Religion in Advanced Industrial Society. He is currently a vice-president of the International Sociological Association.

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Bharata Shrestha dasa (William G. Wall) joined ISKCON in 1983 and was initiated in 1988. He has been involved in a number of preaching programmes. He has been the president of the ISKCON centre in New Haven, USA. He was among those that helped to start the Institute for Vaishnava Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, which is a consortium of divinity schools offering joint Ph.D. courses with the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in Literature and has taught literature at the University of Massachusetts, USA. He has also taught in ISKCON schools: at the Vaishnava Academy Boys, Vaishnava Academy Girls, New Ramana Reti Day School and at The Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education, Gita Nagari. Bharata Shrestha Das is married to Jaya Hari devi dasi and has four children.

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Chanda Chatterjee has been teaching philosophy in Miranda House, University of Delhi for twenty years where she took her MA and Ph.D. degrees. She has been exploring the theme of the Philosophy of Caitanya Vaishnavism for many years. Resulting in a publication of her book, Philosophy of Caitanya and His School, (New Delhi: Associated Publishing Company, 1993).

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Francis X. Clooney S.J. is a Professor of Comparative Theology at Boston College, Boston, U.S.A..He is also the President of the Society for Hindu-Christian Dialogue. He is currently beginning a comparative study of the nature of the existence of God as well as a book on what Christians can learn form Hindu spirituality. Francis joined the Society of Jesus in 1968 and received his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest in 1978. He received his Ph.D. from the department of South Asian Languages and Culture of the University of Chicago in 1984. He also taught at a high school in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 1973-1975. Since that time he has taught, studied and lived in Madras, India. Presently he is the author of four books including Theology after Vedanta: An Experimental in Comparative Theology (1993) and Art and Theology of the Shri Vaishnavas (1994).

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Judith Coney. After her initial degree in Religious Studies and Anthropology, Judith Coney took a M.Sc. in Information Systems and a doctorate in the Sociology of Religion on a South Asian new religious movement. She jointly produced The Way of the Heart: A Study of Rajneeshism (Aquarian Press, 1986) and has recently completed Sahaja Yoga (Curzon Press, 1998). In the last year she has also contributed papers to two forthcoming edited volumes, The South Asian Diaspora (SUNY) and Children in New Religious Movements (Rutgers). Her research interests include new religions, media and religion, and the construction of histories in religions.

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Denise Cush is Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions and Religious Education at Bath Spa University College. She is interested in Religious Education from an international perspective and the perspectives of religions on education. She specialises in Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. Her publications include Buddhism (Hodder and Stoughton, 1994), an introduction for students at A-level and university, and 'Paganism in the classroom' British Journal of Religious Education 19(12), (1997). Recent articles connected to Hinduism in collaboration with her colleague Catherine Robinson include 'The contemporary construction of Hindu Identity', Diskus. 2(2) (1995) and 'The Sacred Cow: Hinduism and Ecology', Journal of Beliefs and Values 18(1) (1997).

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Rahul Peter Das was born in Germany in 1954. He has been educated up to (and including) the Pre-Medical Examination in Calcutta. This included obtaining a National Merit Certificate, being a JB-NSTS scholar and Science Fair award winner and the Indian representative at the London Youth Science Fortnight in 1973. He studied Indology, Islamic Studies and Tamil at Cologne, Hamburg, Bonn and Kiel. He obtained his M.A. in 1981, his Dr.Phil. in 1985 and Habilitation in 1993 from Hamburg University. His special fields of interest include: Vedic Studies, Ayurveda, Vrikshayurveda and Bengali Studies (especially "folk" and syncretistic religions). From 1981 to 1994 he engaged in research work in Ayurveda and Vrikshayurveda at the Universities of Hamburg, Bonn and Groningen (in the Netherlands). During this time he also taught Bengali and Sanskrit at Hamburg University. Since 1994 he has been a professor for the philology of modern Indian languages at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. He is the author of numerous publications and speaks often at conferences and lectures in Germany and abroad.

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Sefton Davies is an independent consultant and trainer specialising in management in education. He is an associate tutor of the University of Bristol and at the Further Education Staff College (UK), and his clients include the University of Wales, Harvard University, Research Triangle Institute and a number of local authorities and F.E. Colleges in Britain. He also works extensively overseas in a range of Third World countries, including Pakistan, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Malaysia. He is married to Ann and has three children, including his daughter, Keshava devi dasi.

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Susan Horsfall is a Ph.D. research student at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne where she is researching Hinduism in the State School Syllabus. She obtained her first degree in Religious Studies, at the same university in 1996. Prior to taking up academic studies, she worked as a personnel executive for Argyll Stores, which subsequently took over Safeway Supermarkets UK.

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Hrdayananda dasa Goswami (Howard J. Resnick) joined ISKCON in 1969. He received the order of sannyasa from Srila Prabhupada in 1972 and he has lectured extensively at universities and educational institutions around the world as well as writing many papers and books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Having received his degree in the study of religion from UCLA, he is now completing a doctoral programme in ancient Vaishnava history in Harvard university. He is presently also engaged in a scholarly translation of the Mahabharata, complete with Sanskrit and transliterations. He has been a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission since 1972.

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Massimo Introvigne is a practicing lawyer in Italy as well a scholar. He is both the managing director and founding member of the Centre for the Study of New Religious Movements (CESNUR). CESNUR is an organisation founded by a by a group of international scholars to study and to provide accurate independent, unbiased information on these groups. In particular it acts as a consultancy service to governments. Dr Introvigne is the author of over twenty books and the editor of twelve publications on the sociology of religion and culture.

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Colin Johnson taught Religious Education in secondary schools before taking up his present post as Publications Director of the Christian Education Movement in 1989. The Christian Education Movement publishes books for religious education in schools, not only on Christianity but also on other major world faiths. He is the author of Christian Teachers and World Faiths , in which he encourages Christians in education to take up the teaching of world faiths without feeling any sense of denial of their own Christian identity. He has worked with Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs, as the editor of Praying Their Faith, an Anthology of Prayers. He is also a priest in the Church of England and teaches adult Bible classes.

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Doris Klostermaier received her Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, Canada, where she is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion. She teaches courses in world religions and women and religion, with a special focus on Vaishnavism. She is the author of the first English biography of the nineteenth-century Austrian novelist Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and is presently preparing a concise encyclopaedia of women in religion.

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Klaus Klostermaier, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is currently teaching as University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba (Canada). He also served from 1986 to 1997 as Department Head and will take up the position of Director of Academic Affairs and Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Hindu Studies in 1999. He spent two years on the staff of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Vrindavan, U.P., India and, obtained a Ph.D. in Ancient Indian History and Culture from the University of Bombay. He is widely known as an expert on Hinduism. Some of his major publications are Hindu and Christian in Vrindavan (1969), A Survey of Hinduism (2nd ed. 1994), Indian Theology in Dialogue (1986), and Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India (1984).

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Kim Knott is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Leeds, England. She is author of two books, including My Sweet Lord: The Hare Krishna Movement (1986) and a number of articles on contemporary Hindu movements in Diaspora. She also directs the Community Religions Project at Leeds that publishes and encourages research on minority religions in Britain. In recent years her research and writing has focused on women in religions, and at present, she is writing a book based on a cross-cultural study of women and destiny.

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Krishna Dharma dasa is a member of the ISKCON UK National Management Council and temple president of the ISKCON centre in Manchester, England. He joined ISKCON in 1979 and served as a sankirtan preacher until 1986 when he opened the Manchester centre. Krishna Dharma started a "Hare Krishna Food for Life" programme there in 1989, which has become the largest free food distribution effort in that city. he is the author of a novelisation of the Ramayana, and has plans for a similar version of the Mahabharata. He is married to Cintamani devi dasi and has two children, Madhava, and Radhika.

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Malory Nye is a lecturer in Anthropology of Religion at the University of Stirling. He has conducted research in the development among the Hare Krishna movement and other Hindu groups in Britain. His book, A Place for our Gods (1996) concentrates on work he did with a Hindu group in Edinburgh. He is currently working on a book about the Bhaktivedanta Manor Campaign to save the temple against the threat of enforced closure.

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Joseph T. O'Connell holds the post of Associate Professor of Religion at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. His Ph.D. Dissertation focused on the 'Social Implications of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Movement' (Harvard, 1970), and he has since contributed to many academic journals and edited several volumes, including Bengal Vaishnavism, Orientalism, Society and the Arts (East Lansing, 1985). He is presently editing a volume on institutional and organisational aspects of religious movements for the Indian Institute of Advanced Study; he is also preparing two volumes of his own on the Caitanya Vaishnava religion, one focusing on its social implications and the other on theological texts and issues.

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Radha devi dasi (Rebecca Corina) obtained her first degree in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1983. She went on to graduate from Harvard Law School in 1986. She spent six years practising environmental and insurance law, after which she went on to teach first at San Diego Law School and currently at Chapman University School of Law where she is now Assistant Professor of Law. She is a disciple of Mukunda Goswami and she works with ISKCON communications North America, the Women's Ministry and the North American Temple Support Office, doing legal work and social activism. She is married to Yudhisthira dasa and has two children.

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Ranchor dasa joined ISKCON and received initiation from Srila Prabhupada in 1970. He has held many posts of responsibility on behalf of ISKCON England, including Temple President of the central London temple. He is the author of Hinduism and Ecology, founder of the charity Friends of Vrindavan and a member of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture (ICOREC).

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Rasamandala dasa joined ISKCON at Bhaktivedanta Manor, England in 1973 and was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada. He is currently Director of ISKCON Educational Services which oversees and promotes the Society's interaction with schools and colleges in the U.K. He is also a member of the VTE (Vaishnava Training and Education) with responsibility for teacher training and curriculum development.

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Ravindra Svarupa dasa was initiated by Shrila Prabhupäda in 1971. He has been a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission since 1987 and is the Chairman of the North American GBC Continental Committee, the president of ISKCON Philadelphia and an initiating guru. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Temple University and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. Among his articles and publications are Charismatic Gurus and Managing Directors: Leadership Issues Arising in Retrofitting a Medieval Tradition for the Modern World, (Association for the Sociology of Religion, 1995); "Cleaning House and Cleaning Hearts: Reform and Renewal in ISKCON" (ISKCON Communications Journal, No's. 3 & 4); "The Religions of Others in ISKCON's Eyes" (In Attitudes of Religion and Ideologies Toward the Outsider: The Other . Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1990.) Encounter with the Lord of the Universe: Collected Essays 1978-1983 (Washington: The Gita-nagari Press, 1984).

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Thomas Robbins received a doctoral degree in sociology at the University of North Carolina in 1973. He has specialised in the sociology of religion and, in particular, in the study of new and marginal religious movements. Dr Robbins has been especially concerned with legal issues arising in connection with deviant sects and specifically with controversies over 'brainwashing' and conversion process within such groups. More recently, he has been investigating the factors that appear to enhance the volatility of movements manifesting apocalyptic belief systems, and which affect the likelihood of violence erupting either within a millenarian group, or in confrontations between a group and authorities. He is the author of Cults, Converts and Charisma and co-editor of a number of volumes including In Gods We Trust, Church-State Relations, and Between the Sacred and the Secular . He has authored and co-authored numerous articles on various aspects of contemporary religious movements. His co-edited collections of original papers, Millennium, Messiahs and Mayhem (1997: Routlage Books). He lives in Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

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E. Burke Rochford, Jr. is Professor of Sociology at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA. He has studied the Hare Krishna Movement for over twenty years. His book on family, the second generation and the development of ISKCON is in progress. Professor Rochford is co-editor of a forthcoming book honouring Shrila Prabhupada. In addition to his academic studies, he has served as a member of ISKCON's North American Board of Education.

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Kenneth Rose is assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Christo-pher Newport University, Virginia. He received his Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University and his M. Div. from Harvard Divinity School. His area of research is in the philosophy and theology of religions and his book, Knowing the Real: John Hick on Religious Pluralism and the Cognitivity of Religions, appeared in autumn 1996, published by Peter Lang, New York. He was a member of ISKCON, in New York, from 1970-1972, initiated by Bhaktivedanta Swami as Karnamrita dasa.

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Maurice Ryan is a Presbyterian minister in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has recently retired from the position of Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Stranmillis College of Education where he taught World Religious Studies. He is a founder member of the Northern Ireland Inter-religious Forum which is a pioneering project bringing together people form every religious community in Northern Ireland in an attempt to increase mutual understanding between them, and to also, most importantly, help the Northern Ireland peace process. He is the author of two books: Small World: Introducing Primary School Children to World Religions (1988) and Another Ireland: An Introduction to Ireland's Ethnic-Religious Minority Communities (1996).

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John A. Saliba S.J. has been a Jesuit priest for 30 years, and since 1987 has been Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he has taught since 1970. He was involved in the recent compilation of a three-year study of new religious movements conducted for the Vatican by the International Federation of Catholic Universities. He is known for two major bibliographies on the new religious movements: Psychiatry and the Cults: An Annotated Bibliography (Garland, 1987) and Social Science and the Cults: An Annotated Bibliography (Garland, 1990). He has also recently published Perspectives on New Religious Movements (Geoffery Chapman, 1995).

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Charles Selengut is professor of Sociology at County College of Morris and visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Drew University (both colleges are situated in New Jersey, U.S.A). His main field is in the study of contemporary religious movements and he is the author of many scholarly studies.

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Aravind Sharma is Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His interests are in world religions, Hindu philosophy and Sanskrit. He is currently concentrating on Hinduism and human rights, Hindu egalatarianism, and Hindu concepts of social justice. Publications include: The Hindu Gita (1986, Duckworth, London), Our Religions (1993, Harper Collins, San Francisco) and Hinduism for Our Times (1996, Oxford University Press, New Delhi).

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Larry D. Shinn is president of Berea College, Kentucky. From 1989-1994 he served as vice-president for academic affairs at Bucknell University and as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1984-1989. He taught several different courses for the department of Religion during his decade of service at Bucknell. He began his career at Oberlin College in 1970 and attained full professorship there in 1981. He was granted his PhD in History of Religion by Princeton University in 1972.

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Tamal Krishna Goswami has served on ISKCON's Governing Body Commission since its inception in 1970. In January 1972, he accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) from his spiritual master, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Jaipur, India. He served as ISKCON's first GBC Secretary for India from 1970-74 and was appointed trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, responsible for sales in the USA. In 1977, he served as the GBC Secretary for Texas and a large number of countries in the Orient. He has recently completed a course of full-time study at Southern Methodist University. His publications include: Reason and Belief: Problem solving in the Philosophy of Religion (Pundits Press, 1997); Yoga for the 21st Century (1991); Prabhupada Antya-lila: The Final Pastimes of Srila Prabhupada (Washington D. C.: Institute for Vaishnava Studies, 1988); Jagannatha-Priya Natakam: The Drama of Lord Jagannatha (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Bhaktivedanta Institute of Religion and Culture, 1985); and Servant of the Servant (Hong Kong: BBT, 1984).

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Judson Trapnell is an Episcopal layman who has served as chaplain in both medical hospitals and at a social service agency. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He is the author of several articles, including 'Indian sources on the possibility of a pluralist view of religions', Journal of Ecumenical Studies (forthcoming); 'The comparative study of religious experience: Implications for dialogue' Dialogue & Alliance (1997), 'Two models of Christian dialogue with Hinduism: Bede Griffiths and Abhishiktananda', Vidyjyoti (1996), and 'The Mutual Transformation of Self and Symbol: Bede Griffiths and the Jesus Prayer', Horizons (1996). He is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Hinduism and is currently working on a publication that will be a study on Griffiths.

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Edmund Weber is Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. He is the editor of three journals: Theion-Annual for Religious Culture, Studia Irenica and the Journal of Religious Culture (published on the Internet). He is the author of a number of journal articles, among them 'Free Love and Bhakti: A dogmatic Identification' (Martin Luther and Shri Krishna Caitanya's Concept of Pure Devotion) in Studia Irenica 33, 1988, and 'Modern Hindu Culture: A study of the Modernisation of Hinduism by Considering the Parallels in Modern Christianity', Journal of Religious Culture, 6, 1997.

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Yogesvara dasa (Joshua M. Greene) is founder and director of Stories To Remember (STR), a New York-based company that produces and distributes literature based films, books and television programmes for international markets. STR programmes are seen on The Disney Channel and the BBC as well as in 20 countries and12 languages. His illustrated picture book Hanuman will be published this autumn by Ten Speed Press. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada initiated him in 1970. Yogesvara dasa's film People, a one-hour special celebrating diversity, received an Emmy nomination and was debuted at the United Nations. He is presently completing a two-hour documentary on testimony by Holocaust survivors for public television in the USA.

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