Members Directory

Members Directory

  • Profile picture of George M Williams
    George M. Williams earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1972, specializing in religions in modern India. For 35 years he was a professor of Eastern Religions at California State University, Department of Religious Studies.
His major interest for the past two decades has been in religions that liberate and in liberal religion.  This interest has been furthered in the IARF and has led to two honorary doctorates: in 1994 from Starr King School for the Ministry and in 1996 from the United Protestant Theological School of Kolozsvár (Cluj), Romania. The American Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) awarded him its 1989 Distinguished Service Award for his contributions toward inter-religious cooperation and understanding. A specialist on Svâmî Vivekânanda and the Hindu Renaissance, Williams helped found the section on Hinduism in the American Academy of Religion, having served as projects director of its Electronic Publishing Committee. In both 1997 and 1998 Williams held the Shree Muherjee Chair at National Institute of Advanced Studies at Bangalore, India. He worked on projects involving preservation through digital archiving of ancient sacred texts. He held workshops for archivists and librarians from all over India on digital archiving, chief among them the works of Raja Rammohan Roy, founder of the Brahmo Samaj.
 Williams has worked for nearly three decades on understanding liberal Buddhist and Shinto groups in Japan, producing a film on "The Bodhisattva Way of Peace: Lay Buddhism in Japan," a video on “Shinichiro Imaoka: Emerson of Japan," as well as a video series on Shinto practices and rituals. He was part of the editorial team that published the English version of Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto’s book, Kami no Michi (Way of the Kami) in 1987.  Williams was a regular presenter at several IARF congresses. He has also been active in Collegium as the chair of its history section. Williams has given guest lectures at a number of universities and seminaries in the U.S. (including Harvard), in Canada (including McGill University, Montreal, as a Distinguished Scholar), India, Japan, Hungary and Romania, as well as at the Vedanta Society in Chicago in 1988. In 1992 with his wife (Dr. Judit Gellerd as translator) he taught model courses at two major universities in Hungary, which were considered the first academic study of religion in post-communist Eastern Europe. Since retirement in 2003 Williams taught Asian religions twice for Semester at Sea. He published the Handbook of Hindu Mythology, “Cosmic Sage: Shinichiro Imaoka, Emerson of Japan” and a monograph on Shinto. Since 2009 Williams has worked with a Hawaiian faith, Kanenuiakea, helping its representatives to become a member group of IARF. 
    Country:
    USA
    IARF Chapter:
    US Chapter
    IARF Member Organisation:
    Kanenuiakea
  • Profile picture of Aayush Soni
    Aayush hails from Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh(MP), India. He hold a Bachelor degree in Computer Science from New Horizon College of Engineering, Bangalore, India. He has ~ 2 years of corporate experience, currently works with Lowe’s India (a US based company) as an Associate Software Engineer. During Covid pandemic, Aayush has performed research and suggested multiple platforms & solutions for career of youth as well as educators to study/work with limited resources. For students that practiced coding but didn’t had any laptop to test, provided a solution that offered them to write & execute code in mobile. Has also contributed in motivating and directing youth for competitive exams and career guidance. Through creative presentations, attracted viewers to understand newer technologies and help them understand the benefits one can get. On his 22nd birthday, started a new initiative "G-VAN", focusing on Climate Change and Environmental sustainability. As his interest drives, volunteered in Medical camps, Cloth Distribution camp and many more
    Country:
    India
    IARF Chapter:
    India Chapter
    IARF Member Organisation:
    RFYN
  • Profile picture of Peter le Poole
    Retired foreign service officer, worked over 40 years at Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies. Member of (Dutch Chapter of) IARF since 2014.
    Country:
    Nederland
    IARF Chapter:
    Dutch Chapter
  • Profile picture of Souru Tanino
    Soul (Soru) TANINO was born and raised in Ittoen, Kyoto in 1992. After graduating from Otani University, he served in the secretariat of the Religions for Peace Japan for three years, where he was involved in various issues (climate change, refugees, reconciliation education, disaster recovery, etc.) occurring in Japan and around the world on the basis of religious cooperation. He then worked for one year at Sunmesse Nichinan Corporation in Miyazaki Prefecture, a park which is themed on ”the place where forming connections with the life of being accepted by the Earth”, before returning to Ittoen in 2019. He is serving in the secretary's office at Ittoen HQ.
    Country:
    日本
    IARF Member Organisation:
    Ittoen
  • Profile picture of Krisztina Sándor
    krisztina-sandor
    Country:
    Románia
  • Profile picture of Bob Carroll
    I am a Modern Orthodox Rabbi, and former university chaplain. Also a former IT consultant and project manager for Fortune 500 companies. I have spent some years doing doctoral work in comparative mysticism which is what initially drew me to interfaith work. Military veteran. Currently serving as a Council Member of IARF and Board Chair of the Interfaith Encounter Association, based in Jerusalem.
    Country:
    Israel and the USA
    IARF Member Organisation:
    Interfaith Encounter Association
  • Profile picture of John L Young
    Graduate of Meadville-Lombard Seminary 1971 Senior Minister at: Bloomington, IN UU; Paramus, NJ UU; Sacramento, CA UU; Jacksonville, FL UU (Emeritus) Retired since 2009 Active in social justice efforts in San Francisco, Ca, with the UU Society of San Francisco between 2010 - 2022 Member of UU Church of Marin, San Rafael, Ca since 2023 Active US Chapter IARF since 1972 President US Chapter IARF since 2022 Council member IARF since 2022
    Country:
    USA
    IARF Chapter:
    US Chapter
  • Profile picture of Esther Suter
    Rev. Dr. Suter is an ordained minister in the Swiss Reformed Church, with a diverse background spanning various roles and engagements. She has served as a pastor, university hospital chaplain, and volunteer pastor in a disadvantaged area of Manhattan, New York. Her passion for ecumenism and interfaith dialogue led her to focus on Peace and Reconciliation, particularly through her involvement in partnership programs between the Federation of Swiss Reformed Churches and Presbyterian Churches in South Korea. Throughout her career, Rev. Dr. Suter has embarked on significant journeys to Latin America and Africa, undertaking projects such as establishing a shelter for street children in Santiago de Chile during a military dictatorship. She has also been an active participant in various United Nations World Conferences of Women and served as a delegate for the World Council of Churches. Her commitment to women's rights and human rights has led her to engage with organizations like the International Association of Liberal Religious Women and the International Association for Religious Freedom, where she serves as an NGO representative at the United Nations. In 2018, Rev. Dr. Suter co-founded Swiss Interfaith Women, a member of the International Association of Liberal Religious Women. Under her leadership, they organized an interfaith and intercultural Youth Camp focused on religion, art, and peace for young women. Additionally, she has made notable contributions during the COVID-19 lockdown by promoting her Doctoral Thesis in Systematic Theology on Fritz Buri's existential understanding. Rev. Dr. Suter's diverse interests encompass women's rights, feminist theology, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, nuclear disarmament, peace advocacy, language proficiency (German, French, English, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Chinese), and Chinese medicine.
    Country:
    Switzerland
    IARF Member Organisation:
    International Association of Liberal Religious Women
  • Profile picture of Rev. Yukinobu Sahara
    Yukinobu Sahara was born in 1968 in Tokyo, Japan. He began serving for Rissho Kosei-kai as a staff member in 1993. He served as an area staff in Hokkaido from 1999, then ordained as the Minister of Muroran Dharma Center in 2010. He was assigned to the Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan in 2016 and was appointed as the Secretary General next year. Since December 2021, he has been serving as Deputy Director of the External Relations Group, General Affairs Department of Rissho Kosei-kai.
    Country:
    Japan
    IARF Member Organisation:
    Rissho Kosei-kai
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