Robert Ellwood was born in Normal, Illinois, in 1933. He was educated at the University of Colorado, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He received his Ph.D. in the history of religion at Chicago in 1967.
Dr. Ellwood has served as an Episcopal priest and a chaplain in the U.S. Navy, and is also a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church, a small denomination using traditional Catholic styles of worship while presenting an esoteric interpretation of Christianity.
An eminent Theosophist, Ellwood is the author of over twenty books, ranging from textbooks in religious studies including Many People, Many Faiths,a popular world religion textbook, to books on the recent history of religion, The Fifties Spiritual Marketplace, The Sixties Spiritual Awakening, and Islands of Dawn, to inspirational books written from a Theosophical perspective -- Finding the Quiet Mind, The Pilgrim Self, Theosophy, andThe Cross and the Grail. In 1988 he was a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand. During the 1998-99 school year, he served as the Goodwin-Philpott Eminent Scholar in Religion at Auburn University in Alabama. In 2001 he was the Swedenborg Lecturer at Urbana University, Ohio.
He lives in Ojai, California, with his wife Gracia Fay, a writer and teacher.