Our experience across academic disciplines and cultural boundaries, as represented below, has inspired the mission for this site. In addition to our former collaborative work along these lines, we seek here to continue our research in new and expanding ways—through essays, interviews, news, and conversations with colleagues, students and fellow-travelers.
Richard Grego is professor of philosophy and cultural history at Florida State College at Jacksonville, with an academic background that includes M.A. degrees in philosophy from Lancaster University, history from the College of St. Rose, and Hindu philosophy from Hindu University of America, in addition to an interdisciplinary doctorate in philosophy and the history of ideas from SUNY at Albany.
His research interests focus on cross-cultural themes in philosophy of religion and science—including comparative theories of mind-consciousness, the metaphysical implications of theoretical physics and scientific cosmology, and comparative world religions/philosophies/civilizations. His publications involve studies in the history-philosophy of science, conceptions of nature in the history of western thought, and comparative perspectives on mind-consciousness in the history of western philosophy-psychology and in the Advaita Vedanta through neo-Vedanta tradition in Hindu philosophy. Prior to his academic career, he was a criminal investigator-polygraph examiner for the Florida Office of the Public Defender/Department of Probation-Parole, Instructor at the Indian River State Criminal Justice Institute and International Academy of Polygraph in Florida, and national Academic Director of the Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council.
Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra – Growing up in a multicultural and diverse society and watching violent conflicts firsthand, my interest in peaceful resolution of conflicts came naturally. I have doctoral degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and University of Massachusetts Boston. My research sits at the intersection of conflict resolution and public policy, with occasional forays into philosophy. I received the Scholar of Peace Award (New Delhi) in 2007. I was a Charles Wallace Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast in 2010. My publications include Sensual Austerity and Moral Leadership (Palgrave, coauthored with Richard Grego), The Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo (Bloomsbury, editor), Gandhi and the World (Lexington, editor), Conflict Management in Kashmir (Cambridge University Press), and Conflict and Peace in Eurasia (Routledge, editor).
Plato’s Idea of the Good fascinates me, as does his disciple Aristotle’s calling politics a ‘noble profession’. For me, Sri Aurobindo’s ‘integral yoga’, Gandhi’s ‘peace through peaceful means’, and Confucian benevolence and moral self-cultivation are not mere subjects of intellectual speculation but guiding principles for organizing life and society. I believe in the ‘butterfly effect’ (but in the moral rather than the sci fi sense) that we can contribute in our own ways to build a peaceful and harmonious society. I am a Professor of Political Science at the Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Miguel Rodriguez is the only one among his immediate Dominican family to be born in the United States. He is an adjunct instructor in American and World History at the University of Central Florida. He received his M.A. in History in 2012. His graduate research included the religious abolitionist movement in the United States, the abolition of slavery in Africa, ethnicity and nationalism in Africa, the Bolshevik Revolution and Stalinism, modern U.S. and Chinese relations, and Christianity’s influence in dismantling South African apartheid. Miguel is also a student of dialectical theology (also known as neo-orthodoxy) and liberation theology (also known as contextual theology). He organized and collaborated in several interfaith and intercultural conferences and sporting events in Central Florida from 2006 to 2018. He continues to be an avid supporter of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and cooperation. Miguel also has a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering. He currently works as a quality assurance engineer specializing in root cause analysis. He is a lover of religion, astronomy, marine navigation, art, film, music, and especially all things history (of course) and sci-fi.