A spiritual history of the world's most religiously complex and diverse society, from one of Harvard's most respected scholars.
"India: A Sacred Geography" is the culmination of more than a decade's work from the renowned Harvard scholar Diana L. Eck. The book explores the sacred places of India, taking the reader on an extraordinary trip through the beliefs and history of this rich and profound place, as well as providing a basic introduction to Hindu religious ideas and how those ideas influence our understanding of the modern sense of "India" as a nation.
About the Author
Diana L. Eck is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University and is Master of Lowell House and Director of The Pluralism Project. As a Christian, she has also been involved in the United Methodist Church, the World Council of Churches, and the life of Harvard Divinity School. Her book Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras won the prestigious Grawemeyer Book Award. In 1998, President Clinton awarded her the National Humanities Medal for the work of The Pluralism Project in the investigation of America's religious diversity.
“No major civilization has made sacred the very ground of its being as India has done, and no one has described this sacred organism with the down-to-earth humanity of Diana Eck. This is magnificent introduction to India by one of the leading lights in the study of religion today.”-- John Stratton Hawley, author of The Memory of Love: Surdas Sings to Krishna.
In this lucid, learned and luminous book, Diana Eck introduces the Western reader to the sacred landscape of India. She leads us into an unfamiliar world, with myths and symbols that seem initially strange, but by the end of this rich journey we find that we have encountered unexpected regions within ourselves.”—Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God and Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
“Reading [Diana Eck’s] new book was like listening to an old, wise friend, whose love and admiration of India and its people shines on every page.” --Phil Semler, San Francisco Book Review (5/5 stars)
Praise for Diana Eck’s Banaras
“In Banaras, Diana Eck... has written a notable book about this greatest of Indian pilgrimage sites.... Her brilliant, comprehensive book seems likely to remain for a long time the definitive work on this great Indian city.”--Washington Post
“The most beautiful book... on India.”--Journal of the American Academy of Religion
“Eck is a master of tone here. She begins as dry scholar, allows her personal voice to emerge and then, through judicious use of lyric quotations, advances to a striking level of exaltation and triumph.... To take us gently off this high, Eck buttresses us-and her arguments-with a truly amazing display of addenda; glossaries, calendars and appendices. One ends filled with admiration and awe, not just for the vision given us, but for the scholarship and dedication that made it possible.” --Los Angeles Times