Rev. David P. Carter is a longtime spiritual practitioner, author, educator, poet, and activist for social justice. His spiritual journey led him to acquire a dual identity as a religious leader both Unitarian Universalist, and Gaudiya Vaisnava. This allows him to unite people from diverse backgrounds, belief systems, and communities on the common platform of humanities’ universal concerns—peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of spiritual happiness and fulfillment.
Rev. Carter’s spiritual education began in 1967. At that time, critical of what he perceived to be the cultural hubris of hegemonic Western religious systems which claim a monopoly on religious truth, he undertook the formal study of Far Eastern philosophy and religion. In 1972 he graduated from Maharishi International University in Fiuggi Fonte, Italy. For more than a decade he taught yoga philosophy and spiritual practice extensively to many hundreds of students in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area. During that same time he co-founded the Spanish Center for the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCSCI) and trained others to teach the philosophy and ancient meditation practices of India.
In 1984, Rev. Carter met distinguished Vaishnava polymath, His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, and began extensive training with him in the US and India. That training culminated in his ordination by Goswami as a Gaudiya Vaishnava priest in 1989. Then, encouraged by Goswami to complement his formal study of Eastern religion with degree work in a Western academic setting, he completed undergraduate work in Philosophy and Religion at Southwestern College, Kansas, followed by graduate work at the Graduate Theological Union, Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, CA.
Publications include but are not limited to authorship of part two of “Ultimate Journey: Death and Dying in the World’s Major Religions,” (Praeger Publishers, 2008), co-authorship of the seventh chapter of Food for the Soul: Vegetarianism and the Yoga Traditions (Praeger, 2011), and an academic paper in the Journal of Vaishnava Studies (Volume 23, No. 1, Fall 2014) entitled “Encounter and Acculturation in 19th Century Bengal: Bhaktivinoda .Thakur and the Unitarians.” He has also published and read onstage and on air from his yet to be published book of poetry, “An Aristocracy of Swans.”