Biographies

Presenters

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. Cynthia is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation alongside fellow teachers and colleagues James Finley and Richard Rohr.

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Ilia Delio

Ilia Delio is a Franciscan sister, American theologian, and former scientist who continues the tradition of Teilhard de Chardin through an inspiring and groundbreaking theology at the intersection of religion and science. Integrating the universal truths of Christian thought with contemporary scientific insights—from consciousness and A.I., to evolution and complexity—her work sees the unfolding of the cosmos as an ever-intensifying “falling in love,” a love that is cosmically creative and increasingly conscious. Her vision of God and creation in mutual and deepening relationship is oriented toward life abundant and making all things new.

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Catherine Keller

Catherine Keller practices theology as a relation between ancient hints of ultimacy and current matters of urgency. As the George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology in the Theological School and Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University, she teaches courses in process, political, and ecological theology. She has all along mobilized, within and beyond Christian conversation, the transdisciplinary potential of feminist, philosophical and pluralist intersections with religion.

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Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD is an award–winning author of over thirty–six books on religion, spirituality, and recovery. Rami co–directs the One River Foundation, is a Contributing Editor with Spirituality and Health magazine, hosts two podcasts— Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami, and Conversations on the Edge—and a weekly Zoom “talk show” called Roadside Assistance at the Corner of Tohu va-Vohu (Wild and Chaos). He is an initiate of the Ramakrishna Order of Vedanta Hinduism, a 32° Scottish Rite Mason (KCCH) and the 2020 recipient of the Huston Smith Award for Excellence in Inter-Spiritual Education. You can follow him on Twitter @rabbirami, Instagram, and Tumblr. For a longer bio check out his Wikipedia page.

Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest.  Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006.  Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list.  She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia.  In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.  Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, was released by HarperOne in March 2019.

You can find Barbara on Facebook and Goodreads.

Spiritual Service Celebrants

Reverend Ed Bacon

Reverend Ed Bacon is an Episcopal priest and author of 8 Habits of Love; Overcome Fear and Transform Your Life. For twenty-one years he was the senior priest of All Saints Church, located in Pasadena, California. Since January 2019, he has been Interim Rector of St. Luke’s Church, Atlanta, where he was ordained in 1983. Ed is a vocal advocate for rearticulating a Christianity for the 21st century which includes trusting God’s Divinity in all creation instead of worshipping the god of fear, separateness, and white male heterosexual Christian supremacy. He also works to dismantle all forms of systemic bigotry. A leader in interfaith circles and an advocate of science-friendly theology and leadership in anxious times, he teaches contemplative practices, how our Oneness in Love overcomes our separateness and fear. He also works to help save the Pando forest in southern Utah, the largest organism on the planet which he considers symbolic of the interconnectedness of all creation. He has appeared on a variety of radio and TV shows interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Ms. Winfrey recently named him a “Soul Teacher” on her “SuperSoul 100” list, a collection of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices to elevate humanity.” He serves on the Advisory Council of Muslim Public Affairs Council. His website is edbacon.co.

Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD is an award–winning author of over thirty–six books on religion, spirituality, and recovery. Rami co–directs the One River Foundation, is a Contributing Editor with Spirituality and Health magazine, hosts two podcasts— Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami, and Conversations on the Edge—and a weekly Zoom “talk show” called Roadside Assistance at the Corner of Tohu va-Vohu (Wild and Chaos). He is an initiate of the Ramakrishna Order of Vedanta Hinduism, a 32° Scottish Rite Mason (KCCH) and the 2020 recipient of the Huston Smith Award for Excellence in Inter-Spiritual Education. You can follow him on Twitter @rabbirami, Instagram, and Tumblr. For a longer bio check out his Wikipedia page.

Workshop Leaders

Andrew Del Rossi

Andrew Del Rossi’s professional journey has allowed him to serve as a theology teacher, service learning educator, campus minister, non-profit operator, and palliative care consultant for alternative and holistic therapies. He is currently publishing and presenting on spirituality and psychology, as well as creating a fully-immersive audio-visual meditation experience guided by Teilhard’s prayers and writings. Andrew resides in New Jersey with his wife and their two children.

Alison McCrary

Alison McCrary is tribal citizen of the Ani-Yun-Wiya United Cherokee Nation, a social justice movement lawyer, Catholic activist, restorative justice practitioner, and an internationally sought-after speaker on social justice, spirituality, and liberation. She currently serves as the Practitioner-In-Residence at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity, a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row, and the Movement Capacity Building Strategist supporting about 50 formerly-incarcerated-people-led non-profits in the United States.

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Margaret Ruth Mell

Margaret Ruth Mell is Visiting Assistant Professor of Practical Spirituality in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. She holds a doctorate from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA; a Master of Music also from Temple University; and Certifications in Spiral Dynamics, Generating Transformative Change, Leadership Pilgrimage, Integral Education, and Trauma-sensitive Mindfulness.

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L.J. Milone

L.J. Milone serves as the Director of Faith Formation for a Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD. He writes weekly articles for the bulletin on scripture and mysticism. He is the author of a book about Meister Eckhart called Nothing but God: The Everyday Mysticism of Meister Eckhart. He is working on a book on the mysticism of St. John of the Cross as well as a book of meditations on contemplation and divine nothingness. He teaches Centering Prayer and leads contemplative retreats in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife and four children.

Rhonda Miska

Rhonda Miska is a preacher, poet, essayist, practical theologian, lay minister, and community organizer rooted in the Dominican tradition. She studied at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and the Aquinas Institute and holds a certificate from the Spiritual Direction Institute. She has taught at Clarke University and Dominican University, accompanied immigrants and refugees in various contexts, served in leadership at a L’Arche-style community with adults with disabilities, and completed two years in Nicaragua as a Jesuit Volunteer. Rhonda currently ministers at the Church of St. Timothy in Blaine, Minnesota and as a spiritual director and writer. She is passionate about cultivating community, nurturing solidarity, engaging the arts as spiritual practice, and working for a more just and humane world. Learn more at www.rhondamiska.com

Mark Wallace

Mark I. Wallace, PhD is the Professor of Religion, Environmental Studies, and Interpretation Theory at Swarthmore College. At Swarthmore, he directs the ChesterSemester program in which college students work alongside Chester city partners in high-value internships focused on social and environmental justice. He has been a visiting professor at The University of Pennsylvania, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Japan International Christian University, and is core faculty for the U.S. State Department’s Institutes on Religious Pluralism at Temple University.

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Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

John F. Haught

John Haught is one of the most creative and constructive theologians in the field of science and religion, providing a brilliant and exhilarating analysis of what faith might mean in an age of science. Deeply influenced by philosophers and theologians such as Teilhard, Lonergan, Polanyi, and Whitehead, Haught’s contribution is intellectually adventurous, ever challenging his listeners to think anew about the much misunderstood relationship between religion and evolution.

His deep concern for issues such as ecology, transhumanism, the value of human life, and the meaning of suffering and death gives further depth and relevance to his analysis, offers a way for believers to think about how religion relates to discoveries in modern science, and, as a consequence, suggests the possibility of a robust and credible faith.

John Haught is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University and the author of 20 books, more than 100 book chapters and articles as well as hundreds of invited lectures and major academic presentations. Haught plumbs the profound depths of the universe and offers fresh insight into the biblical nature of hope. In order to clarify his position with the “New Atheists” and Creationists, folks who differ with his approach, he has engaged in countless stirring debates, and in 2005, testified as an expert witness at the “intelligent design” trial in Harrisburg.

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