Harvard Professor Diana Eck Urges Graduates to Embrace Religious Pluralism In the U.S. And Our World Today At 138th Berea College Commencement

May 23, 2010

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Berea College Public Relations


Speaking at Berea College’s 138th Commencement today, Dr. Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University, urged those graduating to become bridge builders in the religious landscape that makes the “Christian” nation of the United States the most religiously diverse country in the world today. “Your challenge is to navigate the swift currents and treacherous waters of religious differences,” said Dr. Eck, and to embrace the new religious pluralism in our country that she called “a tribute to our Constitution.”  To do so, she said, means an “energetic engagement” with different faiths; “an active seeking of understanding” of those faiths; and “dialogue, listening and learning while holding fast to your own deepest beliefs.”

Eck, whose research includes extensive study of America’s religious diversity made her remarks prior to the awarding of degrees to 195 seniors.  An additional 33 seniors also took part in today’s exercises who are expected to complete requirements for degrees by Sept. 1 or upon completion of a 3-2 engineering program.

Dr. Eck also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Berea College.