In March, Diana Eck ’67 published her latest book, India: Sacred Geography. The book tells the story of “the pilgrim’s India” and is described as “an extraordinary spiritual journey through the living landscape of this fascinating country—its mountains, rivers, and seacoasts, its ancient and powerful temples and shrines. Seeking to fully understand the sacred places of pilgrimage from the ground up… [Eck] acutely examines Hindu religious ideas and narratives and shows how they have been deeply inscribed in the land itself. Ultimately, Eck shows us that from these networks of pilgrimage places, India’s very sense of region and nation has emerged. This is the astonishing and fascinating picture of a land linked for centuries not by the power of kings and governments, but by the footsteps of pilgrims.” The book has been well-reviewed by The Economist and The Washington Post.
Diana graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in Religion, and later earned an M.A. in South Asian Studies/Modern Indian History at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and a PhD in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University. She also received a post-graduate diploma in Ancient Indian History and Culture from Banaras Hindu University.
Currently, Diana is Chair of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, a member of the Committee on the Study of Religion, and a member of the Faculty of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. She is also head of the Pluralism Project, whose mission is to “help Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity through research, outreach, and the active dissemination of resources.”