|Dr. Mathew Fox, is the author of 28 books, including Original Blessing, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths,and A Spirituality Named Compassion and for 34 years was a member of the Dominican Order. He is the recipient of the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award putting him in the distinctive company of the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa and Rosa Parks as previous award winners. He believes that by “reinventing work, education and worship we can bring about a non-violent revolution on our planet.”
Quote:“At this critical time in human and planetary history, when the earth is being ravaged by the violence of war, poverty, sexism, homophobia, and eco-destruction, we need to gather those who offer a future that is one of compassion, creativity, and justice to speak their conscience as never before. Religion ought to be part of the solution, not the problem.” His 95 theses call for a New Reformation, a radical transformation that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality.
Dr. Nathan Katz founded the Center for the Study of Spirituality at Florida International University to explore the vast but largely ignored field of “secular spirituality.”
He is considered a recognized expert in the fields of Indo-Judaic Studies, South Asian religions; Judaism; Buddhism in India, Tibet, Sri Lanka; and the Jews of India. He is also the author of several books, including Who Are the Jews of India?, and Kashrut, Caste and Kabbalah: The Religious Life of the Jews of Cochin, which he co-authored with Ellen Goldberg.
Raised in a traditional Jewish household, he has been an Orthodox Jew, a former Sufi dervish, a Tibetan Buddhist yogi and a friend of the Dalai Lama.
Quote: “When we try to understand spirituality, we must learn to see it two ways in order to make sense of it—from the “objective,” secular viewpoint of the scholar, as well as from the traditional viewpoint… from without and from within, as it were. Students in the field live this polarity, and it is a creative tension capable of generating fine intellectual work.”
Sharon Janis is an accomplished filmmaker, author, speaker, musician, and owner of Night Lotus Productions, which creates documentaries and other videos and films with the intention of bringing light to the world through creative works. After living a decade of monastic ashram life, producing and editing hundreds of videos for the worldwide web of Siddha Yoga devotees and students, Sharon moved to Hollywood for a diverse television and film career, producing and editing some of the most popular television shows of the 1990’s, winning many awards, and working with such notables as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alan Funt, Charlie Rose, Suze Orman, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and many others. Sharon is the author of several popular books, including Spirituality for Dummies and Secrets of Spiritual Happiness.
Quote:“Bringing intelligent, authentic, and entertaining spiritual media to today’s world is especially important and challenging, because we are competing with popular “junk food” films and shows with ten- or hundred-million-dollar budgets, big blockbuster stars, extraordinary special effects, and subliminal plot twists, music, and design elements that are intended to lock the viewer’s attention on the screen, without regard for what positive or negative impressions and information their attention is being fed. The call and quest of spiritual filmmakers is to supply mentally, spiritually, and emotionally delicious and nutritious media meals that will help uplift our world, screen by screen, and viewer by viewer.”