Adam Mendelsohn is Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of Historical Studies at UCT. He is the author of the award-winning The Rag Race, and co-editor of Jews and the Civil War and of Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History. He was Curator and Chief Historian of the recent exhibitions The First Jewish Americans at the New-York Historical Society and By Dawn’s Early Light at the Princeton University Museum of Art. He is co-editor of the journal American Jewish History.
Ugo Dessì (Ph.D. Religious Studies, 2006) is adjunct professor at the Department for the Study of Religion, Leipzig University, Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at Cardiff University, and honorary research associate at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town. He has published widely on Shin Buddhism, including The Social Dimension of Shin Buddhism (Brill 2010), and on the interplay of Japanese Religions with global dynamics, including Japanese Religions and Globalization (Routledge 2013) and The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach (Routledge 2017). His last book Religioni e globalizzazione. Un’introduzione (Carocci 2019) focuses on religions under globalization in comparative perspective. He is currently conducting ethnographic research on East-Asian Buddhism in South Africa.
Emeritus Prof Amina Wadud is a scholar of Islamic Studies and has authored the pioneering texts “Quran and Woman” and “Inside the Gender Jihad”. In addition to her critical scholarly contributions, Prof Wadud has also been centrally involved in a number of international activist social networks for gender equality and social reform in Muslim societies. She is a founding member of ”Sisters in Islam” an activist organisation started in 1987 in Malaysia, as well as a central resource person for “Musawah," a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Prof Wadud is also known as the “Lady Imam” in light of her revolutionary role as a contemporary religious authority. This role as a Muslim religious leader was publicly initiated in Cape Town in her landmark 1994 Friday khutbah (sermon) at Claremont Main Road Mosque.
David Chidester is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town. His publications include Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture, Wild Religion: Tracking the Sacred in South Africa, and Empire of Religion: Imperialism and Comparative Religion.