As the Divinity School ushers in a new academic year, the Religion and Culture Web Forum is delighted to share an interview with Professor David Carrasco, the Divinity School's 2014 Alumnus of the Year and the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University. A graduate of the Divinity School's PhD program in the History of Religions, Carrasco has been called one of the world's foremost scholars of Mesoamerican religions and cultures. He has authored and/or edited over 15 books, including the award winning Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire; Cave, City and Eagle's Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan #2; The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures; and Alambrista and the US-Mexico Border. Carrasco is also the Director of the Raphael J. and Fletcher Lee Moses Mesoamerican Archive at Harvard's Peabody Museum and the recipient of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle.
In this interview Carrasco discusses his experiences at the Divinity School, including the fundamental impact of famed History of Religions professor Mircea Eliade; the importance of his Mexican heritage in the development of his scholarship; and the significance of notions of sacred space, time, movement, and center vs. periphery in his research and teaching.
Many thanks to Professor Carrasco for joining the Religion and Culture Web Forum for this conversation.
*A special thanks to filmmaker and Harvard doctoral candidate Lina Verchery for the recording of this interview.
The Martin Marty Center's Religion and Culture Web Forum is an online forum for thought-provoking discussion on the relationship of scholarship in religion to culture and public life. Each month the Marty Center, the research arm of the University of Chicago Divinity School, invites a scholar of religion to comment on his or her own research in a way that "opens out" to themes, problems, and events in world cultures and contemporary life. Scholars from diverse fields of study are invited to offer responses to these commentaries.
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The Religion and Culture Web Forum is edited by Emily D. Crews, Divinity School PhD student in the History of Religions.