monistary on a hill website in black inline lower copyThe Sacred Mundane

A Conference on Religion and Ecology

 Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speaker:

Bobbi Patterson, PhD, is a Professor of Pedagogy in Emory University’s Department of Religion and Chair of the American Religious Cultures concentration within the Graduate Division of Religion. She holds an A.B. from Smith College, a M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Her current research and teaching focuses on comparative contemplative practices and pedagogies often related to questions of place and thriving/sustainability. She works closely with Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives and developed the Emory as Place Initiative. She founded the Theory-Practice-Learning Program at Emory. With several teaching prizes and an Emory Scholarship named for her, she is an established national leader in reflective and engaged pedagogies, receiving the Award for Excellence in Teaching of the American Academy of Religion in 2010. She has recently convened an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students to form the Religion and Ecology Collaborative at Emory. She is also co-leading a Compassion Meditation group for suicide attempters through the Grady Hospital Psychiatry and NIA project programs. Professor Patterson serves as Chair of the Sustainability Task Force of the American Academy of Religion, and as a contemplative practices consultant on three major grants with Emory University’s Psychiatry, Nursing, and Psychology/Medicine Departments. She is also involved in a grant to Emory’s GDR from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Welcoming Address:

Paul Root Wolpe, PhD is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.  Dr. Wolpe also serves as the first Senior Bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. He is Co-Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), the premier scholarly journal in bioethics, and Editor of AJOB Neuroscience, and is on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. Dr. Wolpe sits on a number of national and international non-profit organizational boards and working groups, and is a consultant to academic institutions and the biomedical industry. He has testified to the President’s Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, DC on ethical issues in synthetic biology and has won the World Technology Network Award in Ethics. Dr Wolpe was profiled as a “Brave Thinker of 2011” in Atlantic Magazine. He is also principal investigator of the Emory CREATE (Culture, Religion, Ethics, and the Environment) Program.


  • Rebecca Copeland, Doctoral Student, Theological Studies, in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University, holds a B.A. from the University of Miami (FL), a J.D. from the William & Mary School of Law, and both a M.Div. and a Th.M. from Candler School of Theology. Prior to coming to Emory, she worked with the Assistant Attorney General’s office in Virginia. She is a founding member of the Religion and Ecology Collaborative at Emory University, and is a graduate assistant with the CREATE program through Emory’s Center for Ethics. Her research interests include how Chalcedonian Christology can be revisioned to open the implications of the incarnation to the relationship between human beings and the rest of creation, thereby constructing a deeper foundation for Christian engagement with the environment today.
  • Jonathan Crane, PhD, is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar of Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory University’s Center for Ethics. He holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Wheaton College in Massachusetts (1995), a M.A. in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame (1997), a M.Phil. in Gandhian thought from Gujarat Vidyapith in India (1998), a M.A.H.L. and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College in New York (2003), and a Ph.D. in religion from the University of Toronto (2009).  Having served Jewish communities in China, India, and North America, he has presented at conferences and taught around the world about Judaism, interfaith relations, Gandhian philosophy, and a variety of ethical issues.  He serves on the board of The Society of Jewish Ethics.
  • Norah Elmagraby, Doctoral Student in the Department of Islamic Civilization Studies at Emory University, holds a B.S.N. from Dar Al-Hekma University, a M.Sc. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, and was part of the Interfaith Residency Program at Union Theological Seminary. She has worked as an entrepreneur and sustainability analyst. She is a member of the Religion and Ecology Collaborative at Emory University.
  • Krissa Glasgow is the Senior Manager of Environmental Innovation for Home Depot. Ms. Glasgow started at Home Depot in 2003 as a Signing Merchandiser, and has held various positions including Six Sigma Project Manager, Marketing Manager, and Redbeacon Integration Team. Before coming to Home Depot, Ms. Glasgow also worked with FCB Seattle, Cole and Weber, Cambell Mithun, and 22squared. She is Six Sigma Black Belt trained, and has served as a mentor for those transitioning from the military to civilian positions with American Corporate Partners. Ms. Glasgow holds a BA from Bethel University.
  • James Hoesterey, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Emory University’s Department of Religion. He received his B.A. from Marquette University, his M.A. from University of South Carolina, and his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining Emory, he was the Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Studies at Lake Forest College, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) New Faculty Fellow at University of Michigan. His latest book,Rebranding Islam: Piety, Prosperity, and a Self-help Guru, chronicles the rise, fall, and rebranding of celebrity televangelist Kyai Haji Abdullah Gymnastiar. Hoesterey was chair of the Indonesia-Timor Leste Studies Committee at the Association for Asian Studies (2011-2015) and currently serves as Secretary at the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS). He also serves on the board for the Commission for Visual Anthropology (CVA) and has worked on several documentary films in Indonesia and Ethiopia, broadcast worldwide on Discovery Channel, National Geographic International, Travel Channel, and the BBC.
  • Johannes Kleiner, Doctoral Candidate, Hebrew Bible, in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University, received aDiplomin Theology form the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany, as well as a M.T.S. with a focus on Hebrew Bible from the Franciscan School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. His research interests include resilience theory and how different relationships between humans and nature are expressed in ancient Near Eastern texts, particularly in Wisdom literature. He is a founding member of the Religion and Ecology Collaborative at Emory University.
  • Cory Andrew Labrecque, PhD, is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Religious Thought at the Center for Ethics, the Director of the Master of Arts in Bioethics Program at Laney Graduate School, and Co-Director of Catholic Studies at Emory University. He earned a B.Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology, an M.A. in Religious Studies with specialization in Bioethics, and a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where he was a course lecturer in the Faculty of Religious Studies, the Institute of Parasitology, and the Department of Physiology. His research lies at the intersection of religion, medicine, biotechnology, environment, and ethics; he is interested in the impact of emerging/transformative technologies (especially those related to regenerative and anti-ageing medicine) on philosophical and theological perspectives on human nature and the human/nature relationship. Dr Labrecque is also lead faculty for the Emory CREATE (Culture, Religion, Ethics, and the Environment) Program.
  • Bhagirath Majmudar, MD, is a Professor of Pathology and Associate Professor of Gynecology-Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine. He has won numerous teaching awards, including the Evangeline Papageorge award for excellence in medical education in 2005. He has served as a Gustafson Scholar for three years, connecting scholars from the sciences and the humanities at Emory. Dr Majmudar has also served as a Hindu Priest for the last 35 years and as a speaker for interfaith harmony in various settings. He received his medical degree from Gujarat University.
  • Lily Oster, Doctoral Student, Theological Studies, in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University, holds a Div. from Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. in literature from Wesleyan University.  Before coming to Emory, she worked for several environmental organizations and organic farms, and, alongside theology, she is currently studying toward a certificate in sustainable design.
  • Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, (legal name Satya Dev Negi)is the co-founder and Director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, Co-Director of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative and the Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies, and a Senior Lecturer in Emory University’s Department of Religion. He is also the founder and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. He developed Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), a compassion meditation program that is currently utilized in a number of research studies, including an NIH-funded study examining the efficacy of compassion meditation on the experience of depression. A former monk, he began his monastic training at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and continued his education at Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India, where he received his Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest academic degree granted in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Dr Negi completed his Ph.D. at Emory in 1999.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s