Jon Keune is an Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at Michigan State University.  He works on social history, historiography, and religion in Maharashtra, especially caste and untouchability in early modern literature of the Varkari tradition and in Marathi scholarship from the 19th century onwards.  He recently published Shared Devotion, Shared Food: Equality and the Bhakti-Caste Question in Western IndiaHe is also interested in comparative and transnational religious scholarship, such as in his newer research on new connections among Buddhists in India, Taiwan, and Japan.  He has published in English and Marathi in edited volumes, encyclopedias, and journals such as South Asian History and Culture, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Pratiṣṭhān. More about his publications can be found on his page.

Gil Ben-Herut is an Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department, University of South Florida. His research interests include pre-modern religious literature in the Kannada language, bhakti traditions, and the vernacularization of Sanskrit poetics and courtly poetry. Dr. Ben-Herut’s book Śiva’s Saints: The Origins of Devotion in Kannada according to Harihara’s Ragaḷegaḷu (Oxford University Press) is the first study in English of the earliest Śaiva hagiographies in the Kannada-speaking region, and it argues for a reconsideration of the nature and development of devotionalism associated today with the Vīraśaivas. Ben-Herut is currently co-translating selections from this hagiographical collection for a separate publication. His extensive publications include a co-translation of a twelfth-century Kannada treatise about poetics, encyclopedic entries, book chapters, and articles in the journals Religions of South Asia, International Journal of Hindu Studies, and Journal of Hindu Studies. See more at Gil Ben-Herut Faculty Home Page at the Department of Religious Studies of the University of South Florida.