Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture: Diana L. Eck

Diana L. Eck, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on religious pluralism, will present the Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture at Virginia Wesleyan College on Monday, October 13, 2008, at 7:30 p.m., in the Boyd Dining Center. Dr. Eck’s talk will examine The Challenges of American Religious Pluralism in a Post-9/11 World.

DianaEck_Eck is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Pluralism Project. She has authored several books on topics ranging from religion in India to Christian theology and religious pluralism, including Banaras, City of Light; Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras; and her most recent book, A New Religious America: How a “Christian Country” Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation. She also headed the nation-wide research team that produced the award-winning interactive CD-ROM, On Common Ground: World Religions in America.

Eck’s many honors include the National Humanities Medal, the American Academy of Religion Martin Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, and several honorary doctorates. She is a member of the State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, and past President of the American Academy of Religion. She also works closely with her own United Methodist Church and the World Council of Churches on issues of interfaith dialogue.

The Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture series was named for the Center’s founding director, Dr. Catharine Cookson, and was inaugurated in 2006 by Dr. Martin Marty.

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