Born in the year of the Fire Horse, Professor Plate has traveled around the world seeking ways that people practice and/or fight against ancient and new religious traditions. Convinced that religion has less to do with beliefs than with bodies, he has turned his attention to the ways people connect with physical objects through sense perception. The things we humans see, hear, smell, taste, and touch are what give us our spiritual dimension. Plate has presented his research at museums, cultural centers, and universities across Asia, Europe, and North America. Author of four books, and editor of another ten books, his essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Christian Century, The Islamic Monthly, Huffington Post, and Religion Dispatches. He is the President of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life/Cross Currents, co-founder and managing editor of the academic journal Material Religion, and serves on the board of the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica, in upstate New York, where he lives with his partner, two kids, and a black mutt.