Diana L. Eck

American theologian (born 1945)

Diana L. Eck (born 1945 in Bozeman, Montana) is a scholar of religious studies who is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University, as well as a former faculty dean of Lowell House and the Director of The Pluralism Project at Harvard.

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  • India presents to the visitor an overwhelmingly visual impression. It is beautiful, colorful, and sensuous. It is captivating and intriguing, repugnant and puzzling. It combines the intimacy and familiarity of English four o'clock tea with the dazzling foreignness of carpisoned elephants or vast crowds bathing in the Ganga during an eclipse. India's displays of multi-armed images, its processions and its pilgrimages, its beggars and Its kings, its street life and markets, its diversity of people - all appear to the eye in a kaleidoscope of images. Whatever Hindus affirm of the meaning of life, death, and suffering, they affirm with their eyes wide open.
  • It was an awesome city - captivating, challenging, and endlessly fascinating - Banaras raised some of the questions about the Hindu tradition which have interested me ever since - its complex mythological imagination, its prodigious display of divine images, its elaborate ritual traditions, and its understanding of the relation of life and death. It was Banaras that turned me to the study of India and the Hindu religious tradition."

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