Dr. Eck Speaks to Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews About Pluralism

March 28, 2006

Source: Palm Beach Daily News


On March 28, 2006 the Palm Beach Daily News reported, "America as the great Melting Pot � where cultural differences are minimized for the sake of assimilation � is a flawed model, according to Diana L. Eck, professor of comparative religion at Harvard University's School of Arts and Sciences.

Though the United States has the most diverse population on the planet, there always have been Americans who discriminate against those with an ethnic, religious or national background different from their own, Eck told members of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews at the organization's 13th annual dinner.

Eck, keynote speaker for the event Sunday at the Kravis Center, is director of Harvard's Pluralism Project. The project (www.pluralism.org) examines the ways in which religious diversity, spurred in large part by the migration from Asia and the Middle East in the past 25 years, has changed U.S. communities... Eck said valuing cultural differences, via pluralism, is perhaps a better model for the country than uncompromising assimilation.

Rather than a melting pot of sameness, the U.S. could be viewed as an orchestra, where distinct instruments come together to make a harmonious sound, she said."