Our Team

Our Team

Yair Lior – Founder

Yair holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion at Boston University and an M.A. Degree in Traditional Chinese Aesthetics from Beijing Normal University in China. His research interests include method and theory in the study of religion, Song Dynasty intellectual history, Neo-Confucianism, and Chinese/Jewish comparative themes. He is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary research that integrates the humanities and social sciences with scientific methodologies such as systems theory, information theory, and complexity science. He teaches at Boston University and is a research associate at the Center for Mind and Culture in Boston.

Elly Moseson – Associate Director

Elly earned his B.A. at Columbia University, where he studied literature and philosophy. He completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Boston University. He has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Hamburg and Tel Aviv University. His research interests include mysticism, magic, the cultural and political functions of texts, and the intersection of literature, religion and psychoanalysis.

Casandra Silva – Education Advisor

Casandra is a full-time Lecturer of Philosophy at the City University of New York. She earned her B.A. in English and Philosophy at Barnard College, Columbia University, and her M.A. in Humanities, concentrating in Philosophy, at the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching focuses on philosophy of education. She brings her rich experience in course development to help Scholarium’s teachers and staff design engaging and original lecture formats. 

Ma’ayan Castel-Lior – Technology Programing Advisor

Ma’ayan, a Berklee College of Music Alumni and a singer songwriter turned UX designer, is passionate about storytelling through multi sensory media and creating human-centered experiences on screen and IRL. Her work is also focused on designing for behavior change. At Scholarium she has been consulting on strategies for bringing education to the public in engaging and creative ways.

Connor Wood

Connor is an expert in the cognitive and evolutionary sciences of ritual. He received his PhD in religious studies from Boston University in 2016, with a focus on religion and science. Since then, he’s worked as a postdoc and research associate at the Center for Mind and Culture in Kenmore Square, Boston. His research spans disciplines and has led to peer-reviewed articles on many aspects of ritual, including self-regulation, shamanism, and the evolutionary foundations of music. He blogs at the religion website Patheos and has written for The Conversation, HuffPost, Orbiter Magazine and elsewhere.


Chris Gross

Chris is an anthropologist with extensive ethnographic experience in Central Asia. He is also a UX researcher with a passionate interest in how people interact with technology, and how those interactions are shaped by their distinct cultural settings. His history as an anthropologist has led him to do research centered on the experiences and perspectives of other people as a way to examine and learn about foreign societies and traditions. With extensive experience in teaching academically and in the public sphere, Chris also engages in dialogue with the public about the importance of intelligently integrating, as well as regulating, the use of technology in contemporary culture.

Present and Former Teachers

Cannor Wood

Kira Ganga-Kieffer

Nicole Correri

Zhouyang Ma

Scott Chase

Simon Zeldin

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