Karl Baier is Associate Professor and, since 2013, head of the Department of Religious Studies. He holds an M.A. in Catholic Theology (1993) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (1987). From 1987 to 2009 he was a postdoctoral research assistant and Assistant Professor at the Department of Christian Philosophy, University of Vienna. From 2000 to 2005 he designed and co-ordinated a postgraduate course on Interreligious Theology of Spirituality at Paris Lodron University, Salzburg. In 2008 he submitted his habilitation thesis for Religious Studies on the history of meditation in modern times, which was published in two volumes in 2009. The same year he became associate professor at the Department of Religious Studies. From 2003 to 2016 he served as a member of the editorial board of Polylog: Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren. Since 2010, he is co-editing the Wiener Forum für Theologie und Religionswissenschaft. Professor Baier is a board member of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies. He is a member of the Austrian Association for the Study of Religions (ÖGRW) and of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE). His current research interests include nineteenth and twentieth century alternative religion, mesmerism, occultism, modern yoga research, and psychedelics.