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Participants

Anna Bigelow is associate professor of Islamic Studies at North Carolina State University. Her current projects are on the culture of sacred sites shared by Muslims and non-Muslims in India and Turkey and on the material culture of vernacular Islam. She is the author of Sharing the Sacred: Practicing Pluralism in Muslim North India (OUP 2010). 

Stephen R. Bokenkamp is a Professor of Chinese and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.  He is the author of Early Daoist Scriptures, Ancestors and Anxiety:  Daoism and the Birth of Rebirth in China, and numerous other works on medieval Chinese religion and literature.  He is a founding board member of the International Taoism Association and frequently coordinates activities with the Institute for the Study of Daoism and Chinese Religions at Sichuan University.

Nathan Hofer is assistant professor of Islam at the University of Missouri. He has published the entries "Brotherhoods" and "Shaykh/Pir" for the Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (2012), "Abraham Abulafia's "Mystical" Reading of the Guide for the Perplexed" (forthcoming in Numen 2013) and "Mythical Identity Construction in Medieval Egyptian Sufism" (forthcoming in a volume on medieval mysticism from IFAO in Cairo), he works in the area of medieval Sufism in Egypt and Syria.

Charles D. Orzech is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro where he teaches a variety of courses, from introductory Buddhism and Chinese religion to seminars on theories of myth and on semiotics and religious images. His research has focused on the translation and transformation of late Mahāyāna Buddhism in eighth-through thirteenth-century China. He is the author of Politics and Transcendent Wisdom: The Scripture for Humane Kings in the Creation of Chinese Buddhism (Pennsylvania State University Press, Hermeneutics Series, 1998) and more recently was the general editor of Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia (E. J. Brill, 2011).

Kristian Petersen is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College. His research interests include Theory and Methodology in the Academic Study of Religion, Critical Islamic Thought, Islamic Mysticism, Chinese Religions, and Media Studies. He specializes in the development of Islam in China and Sino-Islamic intellectual history. His publications can be found in Philosophy East and West, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, and Journal of Oriental and African Studies. He is the host of New Books in Religion and New Books in Islamic Studies and on the steering committee for the Contemporary Islam Group at the American Academy of Religion.

Fabio Rambelli teaches Japanese religions in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he holds the International Shinto Foundation Chair of Shinto Studies. His research interests cover the cultural analysis of Buddhism in Japan, Buddhism’s interactions with other religions and intellectual formations in Asia, the history of the Shinto tradition, and cultural semiotics. His publications include, Buddhas and Kami in Japan (coedited with Mark Teeuwen, 2002), Buddhist Materiality (2007), Buddhism and Iconoclasm in East Asia: A History (coauthored with Eric Reinders, 2012); A Buddhist Theory of Semiotics and Zen Anarchism are forthcoming. He is now working on the imagination of India in premodern Japan and on a revisionist history of Shinto.

Tony K. Stewart is a specialist in the religions and literatures of the Bengali-speaking world, specializing in the early modern period.  His monograph titled The Final Word (Oxford 2010) and his earlier Fabulous Females and Peerless Pīrs (Oxford 2004) are germane to the issues at hand. He is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Humanities, Professor, and currently Chair of Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University.