Bios of the Speakers

Akinade Akintunde
Dr. Akintunde Akinade is Professor at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Before coming to Georgetown University, he taught courses in comparative religions, Christian thought, and Christian-Muslim relations at High Point University in High Point, NC, for twelve years. He has also taught at Wesleyan University, College of New Rochelle, and New York Theological Seminary. He earned his B.A. in Religious Studies from Obafemi Awolowo University, M.Div. from Southern Methodist University, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
His research focuses on Christian-Muslim relations, African religions, religion and immigration, and inter-cultural studies. He serves on the Editorial Board of The Muslim World, Religions/Adyan, Trinity Journal of Church and Theology, and The Living Pulpit. He is also the book review editor for the Journal of World Christianity. Within the American Academy of Religion, he serves on the Committee on the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession. He has published reviews and articles in The Muslim World, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, Journal of World Christianity, Studies in World Christianity, Conversations, Missiology, The International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Exchange, Mission Studies, and Union Seminary Quarterly Review. He is the editor of A New Day: Essays on World Christianity in Honor of Lamin Sanneh (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010).

Sukla Chatterjee
Dr. Chatterjee is an Associate Professor in Economics at  Derozio Memorial College, Kolkata 700136, under West Bengal State University. She obtained her Ph.D degree in Economics from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, India. She has published a number of articles in the areas of Development Economics, Gender Empowerment, Environment and many others in various renowned journals and books in India and abroad. She has also jointly authored two books:
Rethinking of Tagore’s Views on Society, Development and Environment (ed),
Rachayita, and Violence, Values and Indian School Education, Rachayita.

Joseph Isidore Fernando
Dr. Fernando's academic specialties and interests include Hermeneutics, Philosophy of Technology, Thomistic Philosophy, Philosophy of Nonviolence, and Indian Religions. He has been Visiting Professor & Researcher at BPh Pontifical Athenaeum in Pune, India, and, among other positions, was on the Faculty of Religious Studies at University of St.Joseph, in Macau, from 2013 to 2016. He holds a He obtained a Postdoctoral Research Seminar Diploma with the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, Washington, DC. in 2000 foolowing his Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Pune with a dissertation on Marx and Heidegger's critiques of technology.  His latest Publication: Pathway to Peace: A Nonviolent Lifestyle. ISPCK, Delhi, 2017, Pages 241

Ananta Kumar Giri
Dr. Giri is a Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies,Chennai, India. He has taught and done research in many universities in India and abroad, including Aalborg University (Denmark), Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris (France), and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has an abiding interest in social movements and cultural change, criticism, creativity and contemporary dialectics of transformation, theories of self, culture and society, and creative streams in education, philosophy and literature. Dr. Giri has written and edited around two dozen books in Odia and English, including among the most recent Pathways of Creative Research: Towards a Festival of Dialogues (editor, 2017); Research as Realization: Science, Spirituality and Harmony (editor, 2017); Practical Spirituality and Human Development (editor, 2018); Weaving New Hats: Our Half Birthdays (2018); and Beyond Cosmopolitanism: Towards Planetary Transformations (editor, 2018).

Po-chi Huang
Dr. Huang got a Ph. D degree from Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University. He has been teaching at Graduate Institute of Religious Studies, National Chengchi University, Taiwan for more than 16 years. He is the president of Taiwan Indological Association and senior research fellow at Center for the Study of Chinese Religions, National Chengchi University. He teaches Sanskrit, Pali, Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism and comparative religion. He also takes abiding interest in ancient India, China and Israel. Recently, he published a book on pre-modern Indian intellectual history entitled The Cosmos, The Body and Īśvara—Ideals of the Body in Indian Socio-Religious History (Cité Publishing Company, Taipei, 2017).

Gyu-Eon Jang
Dr. Jang is a researcher in Mind-Only Buddhist Thought in the East Asian tradition. He received his Ph.D. from the Academy of Korean Studies in August 2012. He also audited literary Tibetan classes and intensive seminar at Beijing University as a foreign student during my 2006-2007 and 2011 stay in Beijing. After graduation, he worked in both Geumgang University and Dongguk University, Korea as a researcher. His main work
is Woncheuk Haesimmilgyeong-so Musaseongsang-pum jongseongnon bubun yeokju (Korean Translation and Annotations of the Section on Gotra-Theory in “Musaseongsang- pum” (Chapter on character of Non-Substance) of Haesimmilgyeong-so (Commentary of Samdhinirmocana-sutra) by Woncheuk (613~696) – With a Critical Revision Based on Its Tibetan Translation (Seoul: CIR, 2013). It also include the English version of this Critical Revision. For the last few years, Dr. Jang has been focusing on the exposition of Woncheuk’s Buddhist thought based in Seoul.

Peter Jonkers
Dr. Jonkers is professor of philosophy at Tilburg University, the Netherlands (School of Catholic Theology). His teaching and research expertise includes philosophy of religion, metaphysics, history of modern philosophy (especially Hegel and his contemporaries), and contemporary continental philosophy. Currently, his research is focused on questions regarding religious truth, tolerance, religious diversity, and a philosophical exploration of (Christian) wisdom. Some recent publications of his on the theme of wisdom: "From rational doctrine to Christian wisdom. A possible response of the Church to today’s seekers". In: S. Hellemans and P. Jonkers (ed.), A Catholic Minority Church in a World of Seekers. CRVP, Washington D.C., 2015, 163-191; A Revaluation of Wisdom as a Way to Reconnect Philosophy With the Life-World. In: Peter Jonkers, He Xirong, Shi Yongze (eds.) Philosophy and the Life World. CRVP, Washington D.C., 2017, 41-62.

Hamed Khouani
A graduate from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in philosophy of religions, Mediteranean and Islamic World and from La Sorbonne, Paris I, Hamed Khouani specializes in Neo-Platonic philosophy, hermeneutics and phenomenology notably the works of Henry Corbin. His current research focuses on mysticism. He teaches philosophy at the French High School of Doha, Lycée Bonaparte.

Adrien Leites
After his Ph. D. at Princeton (1997), and his appointment at the Sorbonne (2000), Dr. Leites  gradually came to feel that Islam cannot be studied in isolation. My current work consists in connecting the Muslim Tradition  with other Traditions, or with the contemporary debate on Islam. An instance of inter-traditional connections is provided by my Amour chrétien, amour musulman (Fayard, 2015), where he confronts the Christian and the Muslim views of love, as expressed by the voices of Augustine and Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī respectively.
His latest work, Chez les musulmans, is an attempt at showing that the various sciences composing the Muslim Tradition offer unexpected resources for today, and make a reform of Islam quite meaningless.

Patrick Luade
Professor Laude has been teaching at Georgetown University since 1991. He joined the faculty of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar, where he teaches courses in religious studies, in 2006. A former fellow in philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, Professor Laude's scholarly interests and output lie in comparative mysticism and metaphysics, poetry and mysticism, and Western representations and interpretations of Islamic and Asian spiritual and wisdom traditions. He has extensively written and lectured on figures of European spirituality such as Fénelon, Jeanne Guyon, Simone Weil, Louis Massignon, Henry Corbin, and Frithjof Schuon. Supérieure in Paris, he earned a Master’s degree in comparative philosophy --with certificates in Indian, Islamic and Greek philosophies-- from the University of Paris IV Sorbonne in 1982, and a doctorate in French literature from Indiana University in 1985 with a dissertation on the poetical transformation of Southeast Asian religious cultures. He has authored over ten books and monographs including: Pathways to an Inner Islam, Albany: SUNY Press, 2010, Louis Massignon: The Vow and the Oath, London: Matheson Trust, 2011, Pray Without Ceasing: The Way of the Invocation in World Religion, Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, 2006, Divine Play, Sacred Laughter and Spiritual Understanding. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2005, Singing the Way: Insights in Poetry and Spiritual Transformation. Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, 2005, Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998): Life and Teachings. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2004, Music of the Sky: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry. Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, 2004, Massignon intérieur. Paris-Lausanne: L’Age d'Homme, 2001, and Approches du quiétisme. Tubingen: Biblio 17, 1992. He has also published numerous articles in academic journals such as Symposium, Studies in Spirituality, Philosophy East and West, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques, La Revue Théologique de Louvain, Dix-septième siècle, Parabola and Neophilologus.

Martin Lu
Dr. Lu was born in the Japanese settlement of Shanghai in 1942 from Taiwanese parents. After the War, he returned to Taiwan. Prof. Lu graduated from National Taiwan University with a B.A. in English literature, and subsequently obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University (U.S.A). He has then taught and retired from National University of Singapore and Bond University (Gold Coast, Australia). He served as Director Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies at Bond University. He is the author of Confucianism: Its Relevance to Modern Society, Singapore, 1983.

Firat Oruc
Firat Oruc is Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He received his Ph.D. in Literature from Duke University in 2010. His teaching specialties include contemporary global literature, 20th century Anglophone writing, literatures of the Middle East, and world cinema. Before joining SFS-Q, he taught in the Comparative Literary Studies program at Northwestern University (2011-2013) and the departments of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles (2010-2011). His scholarly interests center on the intersections of cultural globalization and transnationalism, postcolonial studies, world literature theory, and translation studies. His recent work has appeared in literary criticism journals such as English Language Notes, Criticism and Postcolonial Text. His current book project is a comparative study of world literature and institutions of translation in Turkey, Egypt, and Iran.

Edward Moad
Dr. Moad is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Humanities at Qatar University. He earned his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 2004.  His research is in Islamic Philosophy, Metaphysics and Comparative Moral Epistemology.

Benjamin Timi Olujohungbe
A doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, Prof. Olujohungbe's concentration is in the area of social and political philosophy. His doctoral dissertation proposes to deploy the idea of virtue politics in mitigating the challenges of multiculturalism.  He is also a Teaching Assistant with the University of Ibadan Centre for General Studies; where he teaches Philosophy and Logic to undergraduate students.  His research interests include discourses in the areas of identity politics/politics of recognition, gender studies in Africa and the intersections between faith and philosophy. He is the author of “Women’s Agency and the Re-negotiation of Gender Depiction in an African Media Space” in Isaac E. Ukpokolo. (Ed.) 2017, Themes, Issues and Problems in African Philosophy, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Olatunji Alabi Oyeshile
 Dr. Oyeshile is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He specializes in African Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Existentialism. He has published nationally and internationally in these areas and has attended conferences across the globe. His present research emphasis is on “Community and the Individual in Africa”. He is an editorial consultant to Philosophia, The Philippines. He is a member of the Nigeria Academy of Letters (NAL), the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD) and the Philosophers Association of Nigeria (PAN). He has participated in the activities of the Centre for Research in Values and Philosophy and co-edited with J. Kenny (2013) The Idea of a Nigerian University: A Revisit. Nigerian Philosophical Studies, III, Washington, D.C: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.

John Paraskevopoulos
Reverend Paraskevopoulos a Shin Buddhist priest from Australia. He attended the University of Melbourne where he was awarded a first-class honours degree in Philosophy. Reverend Paraskevopoulos received ordination in 1994 at the Temple of the Primal Vow (Hongan-ji) in Kyoto and has written a number of works including Call of the Infinite (also published in French, Italian and Greek editions), The Fragrance of Light and The Unhindered Path. He is currently engaged in a range of pastoral and scholarly endeavours, and is also the editor of an online journal of Shin Buddhism (Muryoko).

L.P. Singh
Dr. Singh spent about two decades as a mendicant in search of truth and salvation. He was awarded D. Litt. Degree from Ranchi University, Ranchi in 1972. In February 1996 he became Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Govt. of India for three years. In 2000 A.D. Professor Singh was awarded Fellowship of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla for three years. He became a visiting Research Professor in 2004 at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. He was also awarded Indo-French Cultural Fellowship in 1994. He has written many books of high academic value, published several papers at the National and International proceedings and Journals of high academic repute.

João J. Vila-Chã
Vila-Chã studied in Braga, Frankfurt and Boston, obtaining his PhD. in philosophy from Boston College. At this University he taught from 1992-1996 in the programs “Philosophy of the Person” and “Perspectives on Western Culture and Civilization”. From 1998-2008 he taught History of Contemporary Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology at the Portuguese Catholic University in Braga. He was Director of the Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia from 2000 to 2009 and President of the European Association of Jesuit Professors of Philosophy from 2002 to 2008. In 2007-2008, he was Visiting Scholar at Boston College, Fordham University and Santa Clara University. He is President of the Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Catholi­ques Universitaires de Philosophie (COMIUCAP) and Vice-President of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP). He is Professor for Social and Political Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Concilium, among other journals. He was the recipient of the International Karl-Otto Apel Prize for Philosophy in 2017

Amira El-Zein
Amira El-Zein is Associate Professor with Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. She is the author of Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn (Syracuse University Press, 2009) and the co-editor of Culture, Creativity and Exile (Bethesda Maryland, Kitab Publications, 2003). She is also a published poet in Arabic, French, and English. Among her published poetry are The Bedouins of Hell (2002) and The Jinn and Other Poems (Arrowsmith, Boston, 2006). She read her poetry at the UN in New York, Paris, London, Washington DC, and Boston. El-Zein is a translator in Arabic, French, and English. Among her numerous translations: Les Tarahumaras of Antonin Artaud (from French into Arabic), Malraux par lui-même by Gaeton Picon (from French into Arabic), and a co-translation of the poetry of Mahmud Darwish in Unfortunately it Was Paradise (California University Press, 2006).
El-Zein is the author of more than a dozen articles published in refereed journals, such as “Christian-Muslim Relations”, “Connaissance des religions”, and “Alif: The Journal of Comparative Poetics.” She has authored several book chapters on an ample range of topics including but not limited to Sufism in medieval and contemporary Islam, Francophone literature, Arabian Nights, and contemporary Arabic poetry and fiction.