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.
Armando Salvatore, a social theorist and scholar of comparative religion, is the Barbara and Patrick Keenan Chair in Interfaith Studies and Professor of Global Religious Studies (Society and Politics) at McGill University. He has taught and researched at Humboldt University Berlin, University of Naples 'L’Orientale,' National University of Singapore, Leipzig University, and Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author of The Sociology of Islam: Knowledge, Power and Civility (Wiley Blackwell, 2016) and the chief editor of The Wiley Blackwell History of Islam (Wiley Blackwell, 2018).
Dr. Sanal Mohan Padikaparampil is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India. He has published research articles on the discourses and practices of the movement. He combines history and ethnography in his research. His areas of research interest include colonial modernity, social movements and questions of identity, Dalit Movements and Christianity in India.
Amy Stambach is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Garth Mason is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and Arabic at Unisa. He has previously held posts in Departments of Religious Studies at Wits and the University of Botswana. Dr Mason is currently a visiting scholar at UCT. For much of his early career Dr Mason taught and researched in the Eastern Religions. His PhD is in the philosophy of Nagarjuna. For the last five years Dr Mason has shifted his research focus to autobiography and biographical studies. His current research interest is in contested identities in life writing and how the writerly voice is shaped by contestations between religion, social, political and gendered identities.
Moncef ben Abdeljelil is Professor of History of Medieval Muslim Thought and Cultures at the University of Soussse, Tunisia. He works on various aspects Muslim intellectual history, with a focus on minorities, Islamic law and education.
Prof Ulrich Berner is Professor (em.) of Religious Studies in the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and Affiliated senior fellow at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS). His areas of research are European Religious History, Christianity in Africa, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion.
Sa’diyya Shaikh is Associate Professor and Head of Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town. Her research is situated at the intersection of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies, with a special interest in Sufism. Her areas of research also include gender-sensitive readings of hadith and Quran; theoretical debates on Islam and feminism; religion and gender-based violence; and empirical work on South African Muslim Women. Her current research project is entitled “Gender, Justice and Muslim Ethics”.
Revd Dr Isaias Ezequiel Chachine was born in Southern Mozambique, Xai-xai, Gaza. After graduating in Theology at the University Natal, Pietermaritzburg, proceeded for further studies in Sweden where he obtained his PhD in Theological Ethics at the University of Uppsala. He lectured in Ethics for many years at the College of Transfiguration, an Anglican Theological Seminary, in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, and served as a visiting scholar at Rhodes University, Department of Political and International Studies, lecturing in Political Philosophy.