Bettina Sharada Baumer, Indologist from Austria and Professor of Religious Studies (Visiting Professor at several universities), has lived and worked in Varanasi since 1967. She is the author and editor of a number of books and over 50 research articles. Her main fields of research are non-dualistic Kashmir Saivism, Indian aesthetics, temple architecture and religious traditions of Odisha, and comparative mysticism. She has been Coordinator of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Varanasi. She has translated important Sanskrit texts into German and English. Her important publication is Abhinavagupta’s Hermeneutics of the Absolute, Anuttaraprakriya (2011). In 2015 she received the Padma Shri award from the President of India. She has been National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2015-17), and is Director of the Abhinavagupta Research Library, Varanasi. She has been extensively giving seminars on texts of Kashmir Saivism in India and Europe over the last 20 years.
Hamsa Stainton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His interests include Saivism and Tantric traditions, religion in Kashmir, Indian aesthetics, bhakti traditions, the Mahabharata, and Sanskrit literature. His current research and recent publications focus on the popular genre of Sanskrit devotional poetry called the stotra (“hymn of praise”), especially in the religious and literary history of Kashmir.