Dr Malcolm David Eckel

Professor of Religion
Boston University
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

Archaeology Tours Led by Professor Malcolm David Eckel


Eastern India: From Bodh Gaya to Kolkata to Puri

16 Days
Availability : TBA
Travel through remote areas of Eastern India, to see Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and stupas, Intricately carved Jain Caves, and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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Asia - Now Accepting Deposits

Himalayan Kingdoms: Ladakh & Bhutan Tour

20 Days
Availability : Fall 2025
​Himalayan Kingdoms tour of Bhutan, Ladakh, Sikkim
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Japan in Bloom

15 Days
Availability : April 2024 & 2025
Travel through mainland Japan and enjoy an in depth look into the wide religious customs practiced on the Land of the Rising Sun.
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India - Confirmed Departure! BOOK NOW!

North India: Gods, Temples and Archaeology

15 Days
Availability : January 5 - 19, 2025
Travel from Mumbai to Agra to Delhi to Jaipur, see nine UNESCO World Heritage sites.
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