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BBT Barbara Brown Taylor is author of An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith and Leaving Church.
Diana_Butler_Bass Diana Butler Bass is the author of seven books on the history and practice of Christianity, including "Christianity for the Rest of Us," a study of mainline Protestantism and "A People's History of Christianity." She writes for The Huffington Post and Beliefnet and frequently comments in the media about American religion. She is a practicing Christian (an Episcopalian) and takes as her motto Jesus's words, "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Do this and you will live."
MatthewWest GRAMMY ® Award nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West catapulted onto the Christian music scene in 2003 with his debut single, “More,” the most played Christian AC song of 2003. The multi-Dove Award nominee has since released three critically-acclaimed recordings, Happy (2003), History (2005) and Something to Say (2008), while dominating radio as the most played Christian artist of 2003, 2008 and 2009, according to Radio & Records. Virtually all of West’s singles have charted in the Top 10, including the memorable hits “Only Grace,” “History,” “Next Thing You Know,” “You Are Everything” and the GRAMMY ® nominated “The Motions.” ”The Motions” was 2009’s most played song at Christian AC radio, and was No. 1 on Radio & Records’ Christian AC Monitored chart and the Billboard Christian chart for 14 weeks as well as the most downloaded Christian digital track 15 weeks running, according to SoundScan. Last year, West was asked to pen the theme song for VeggieTales’ latest Christmas DVD release, Saint Nicholas – A Story Of Joyful Giving. West recorded “Give This Christmas Away” with best-selling, award-winning artist Amy Grant, who performed the radio single alongside Matthew on Fox News programs “Huckabee” and “FOX & Friends.” Known as both a singer and songwriter, West has penned hits for artists such as Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diamond Rio and more. West's most recent album was inspired by the 10,000 letters he received, The Story of Your Life released October 5, 2010.
omidsafi Omid Safi is the author of Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters (HarperOne 2009). Memories of Muhammad provides a new biography of the Prophet of Islam as the role model for millions of modern Muslims. In this new biography, Omid Safi, a rising scholar of Islam, presents a portrait of Muhammad that reveals his centrality in the devotions of modern Muslims around the world. Covering such hot button issues such as the spread of Islam, holy wars, the role of women, the significance of Jerusalem, tensions with Jews and Christians, wahabbi Islam, and the role of cyberspace in the evolution of the religion, Memories of Muhammad presents Muhammad as a lens through which to present the unfolding of both Islamic history and Islamic religion.
Rabbi_David_J_Wolpe David J. Wolpe is a senior rabbi at the Sinai Temple of Los Angeles and a teacher at UCLA.Rabbi Wolpe writes for many publications, including New York Jewish Week, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, and Beliefnet.com. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN and CBS This Morning, and has been featured on the History Channel’s Mysteries of the Bible. He is the author Why Faith Matters and the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. Rabbi Wolpe lives in Los Angeles.
Randall_Balmer Randall Balmer is an Episcopal priest and professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is editor-at-large for Christianity Today, and his commentaries on religion in America have appeared in Sojourners, The Nation, the New York Times, and in newspapers across the country. He is author of numerous books, including God in the White House: A History How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. He lives in Woodbury, Connecticut with his wife Catherine Randall, who is also a professor and an author.
SharonSalzberg Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been a student of Buddhism since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work. "Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright." She is the author of many books including: Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.
YehudaBerg A bestselling author and luminary authority on Kabbalah, Yehuda Berg is part of a long line of Kabbalistic masters, and the son of Rav and Karen Berg. Recognized as “the world’s leading authority on the Kabbalah movement” by Newsweek, the magazine named him as one of the top five rabbis in the U.S. in 2007. In 2009, GQ magazine’s The Gentlemen’s Fund honored him for being an Agent of Change in the field of Education. Yehuda has authored more than 30 books on topics ranging from self-empowerment and depression to sex and the Bible. His bestsellers are "The Power of Kabbalah" and "The 72 Names of God", which have been translated into 20 and 14 languages respectively. His daily Tune-ups are sent to more than 200,000 fans, and he contributes regularly to Huffington Post. Yehuda speaks internationally and teaches thousands of people from all walks of life. He believes in the power of human consciousness and personal transformation, and utilizes Kabbalah as a tool for change. Yehuda is co-director of Kabbalah Centre International, Inc. Founded in 1922, KCI is the leading organization dedicated to bringing Kabbalah to everyone with the desire to learn. Twitter- @yehudaberg; Facebook- /yehuda.berg
Published October 11, 2010