Margaret M. Gower is a scholar of religion who serves as assistant professor of religious studies and theology at Saint Mary’s College.
Her areas of expertise include Christian theology and spirituality, Medieval Christianity, women, sex, and gender in the Christian tradition, the common good, and interreligious friendship.
Chad Meister is a scholar of global religion who has published a number of books on religion and religious diversity, including The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity, The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil, The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion, and The Cambridge Companion to Religious Experience. He is also general editor of three book series that focus on issues in religion from a global perspective: Cambridge Elements: Religion and Monotheism; Cambridge Studies in Religion, Philosophy, and Society; and Investigating Philosophy of Religion. His authored and co-authored books which focus on themes in global religion include Evil: A Guide for the Perplexed, Introducing Philosophy of Religion, and Contemporary Philosophical Theology. He is currently writing a volume on interfaith dialogue.
With regard to local interfaith work, Meister serves as a board member of the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County and is regularly involved in local interfaith events. He also founded the Interreligious Student Community, a student group that focuses on interfaith dialogue and understanding among area undergraduate and graduate students.
Meister holds a PhD in philosophy from Marquette University. In 2015 he was a visiting research scholar at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and the William Paton Fellow at the John Hick Centre for Global Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham in England. He has given invited lectures at the Universities of Oxford (the Joseph Butler Society, Oriel College), Cambridge (the D-Society, Clare Hall College), and London (Heythrop College).
Robert Stockman has had a passion for researching and teaching about the Bahá’í Faith for more than half of his life.
His fascination with American Bahá’í history and with the first American Bahá’í, Thornton Chase, led him, in 1980, to switch his academic field from planetary science to history of religion in the United States. As he was finishing my doctorate in that field at Harvard University in 1990, he drew up plans to create a Bahá’í Studies institute that would offer courses, encourage research, and publish.
Instead, Stockman was hired by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States to start a research office at the national Bahá’í headquarters in Wilmette, Illinois. Some of the responsibilities of the research office led to the creation of the Wilmette Institute, which focuses on most of the tasks of the institute he had originally conceived.
Stockman has remained involved in academia, teaching religious studies part-time at DePaul University in Chicago and at Indiana University South Bend. He has also published four books on aspects of Bahá’í history (including a biography of Thornton Chase) and one introductory textbook on the faith.