Professor of Religion
Philosophy & Religion of India, Southeast Asia, and Tibet
After receiving a B.A. from Harvard, Malcolm David Eckel studied Religion and Sanskrit at Oxford before receiving a PhD from Harvard University in comparative religion, with special emphasis on the Buddhist traditions of South Asia. He is Professor of Religion at Boston University, where he teaches courses on Buddhism, comparative religion, and the religions of Asia. Professor Eckel has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence, Boston University’s highest award for teaching. He also has served as Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Religion, Director and Dean of the Core Curriculum, and Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Humanities.
Professor Eckel is a popular lecturer on The Great Courses’ lecture series. In addition to many articles, he has published three books on Buddhism: To See the Buddha: A Philosopher’s Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness; Buddhism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places; and Bhaviveka and His Buddhist Opponents.
His deep experience as a traveler in India and Southeast Asia, and his knowledge of Buddhism and Hinduism, the two religions that dominate the cultures of South Asia, make Professor Eckel particularly suitable to lead his trips.
‘Excellent. David was crucial to my enjoyment of the trip. I learned a lot. He was responsive to my never-ending questions.’ – Laura Derby
‘David was one of the reasons I took your tour since I enjoyed his Great Courses lectures on Buddhism. He was friendly and approachable.’ – Susan Bezman
‘Always wonderful, kind, patient, and knowledgeable. We looked forward to each of his seminars.’ – Charlotte Mason
‘David’s knowledge of religions was an asset to the trip. His notes were helpful and the historical sequence unfolded as the trip progressed. He was also a very nice person.’ – Bryan Jenkins