Karen Armstrong is considered one of the foremost thinkers on modern religion. Formerly a Roman Catholic nun, Armstrong studied literature at Oxford. Her book chronicling her experiences in the convent, "Through the Narrow Gate," caused a furor among Catholics; subsequent books discuss her spiritual awakening, and her provocative thoughts on world religions. Recent major works include: "A History of God and Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World" and "The Bible: A Biography."
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times recently hailed him as "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism."