Diana L. Eck

Diana is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University where she serves on the Committee on the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Since 1991, she has been heading a research team at Harvard to explore the new religious diversity of the United States and its meaning for the American pluralist experiment. In 1996, Diana was appointed to a U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, a twenty-member commission charged with advising the Secretary of State on enhancing and protecting religious freedom in the overall context of human rights.

A member of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies as well as the Faculty of Divinity. She received her B.A. from Smith College (1967) in Religion, her M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1968) in South Asian History, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University (1976) in the Comparative Study of Religion.

Diana and her partner Dorothy Austin are currently serving as Masters of Lowell House at Harvard. In 1998, she received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the National Endowment for the Humanities for her work on American religious pluralism.

The Pluralism Project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation has been documenting the growing presence of the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Zoroastrian communities in the U.S. This research project has involved students and professors in “hometown” research on America’s new religious landscape