David Carrasco

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Davíd L. Carrasco (born 1944)[1] is a Mexican-American academic historian of religion, anthropologist, and Mesoamericanist scholar. As of 2010 he holds the inaugural appointment as Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of Latin America Studies at the Harvard Divinity School, in a joint appointment with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. Carrasco is known for his research and extensive publications on Mesoamerican religion and history, as well as wider contributions within Latin American studies.[2] His work is known primarily for his illuminating writings on the ways human societies orient themselves with sacred place.

Noted as "one of the foremost scholars of Mesoamerican religions and cultures"[3] Carrasco has contributed particularly to the study of history, religion and symbolism of the Aztec and Teotihuacan cultures. Several of his publications have received awards, and he is a recipient (2004) of the Order of the Aztec Eagle,[4] the highest decoration awarded by the Mexican government to foreigners. In 2006, Carrasco received the Mircea Eliade Jubilee medal, presented in absentia by the President of Romania, Traian Basescu. The Mircea Eliade award, named for the preeminent Romanian-born interpreter of world religions, was given as a sign of appreciation for contributions in the study of history of religion. In 2014 Carrasco was chosen as the Alumnus of the Year at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Published works[edit]

  • The Oxford encyclopedia of Mesoamerican cultures: the civilizations of Mexico and Central America (general editor)
  • Moctezuma's Mexico: visions of the Aztec world (written with Eduardo Matos Moctezuma)
  • Daily life of the Aztecs: people of the sun and earth (written with Scott Sessions)
  • Arqueología e historia del Centro de México. Homenaje a Eduardo Matos Moctezuma (edited with Leonardo López Luján and Lourdes Cué)
  • Quetzalcoatl and the irony of empire: myths and prophecies in the Aztec tradition.
  • Mesoamerica's classic heritage: from Teotihuacan to the Aztecs (edited with Lindsay Jones and Scott Sessions)
  • Waiting for the dawn: Mircea Eliade in perspective
  • To change place: Aztec ceremonial landscapes (editor)
  • Cave, city, and eagle's nest: an interpretive journey through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan (edited with Scott Sessions)
  • Breaking through Mexico's past: digging the Aztecs with Eduardo Matos Moctezuma (written with Leonardo López Luján)
  • The history of the conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo (editor)
  • Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Immigrants (edited with Nicholas J. Cull)
  • Religions of Mesoamerica
  • City of sacrifice


  1. ^ Espín 2007:202
  2. ^ Harvard University Gazette 2001:10
  3. ^ Espín 2007:202
  4. ^ Harvard University Gazette 2004:15


Beasley, Johnathan (May 2008). "Spirituality and Physical Space: An Interview With Davíd Carrasco". News and Events: Article Archive. Harvard Divinity School. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
Espín, Orlando (2007). "Carrasco, David (1949—)". In Orlando O. Espín and James B. Nickoloff (eds). An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-8146-5856-7. OCLC 162145884. 
Harvard Magazine staff (January–February 2002). "David Carrasco" (online reproduction). Harvard Magazine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Magazine Inc. 104 (3): 61. ISSN 0095-2427. 
Harvard University Gazette (16 August 2001). "Carrasco to join Divinity School: Renowned history of religions scholar emigrates from New Jersey" (online reproduction). Harvard Gazette Archives. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
Harvard University Gazette (16 December 2004). "Mexico honors Carrasco as 'a man of our time': 'Order of the Aztec Eagle' awarded to HDS professor" (online reproduction). Harvard Gazette Archives. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
McDowell, Wendy S. (March 2004). "Carrasco Organizes International Team of Scholars to Decipher Sixteenth-Century Mesoamerican Codex". News and Events: Article Archive. Harvard Divinity School. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
Valle, Victor (29 November 1987). "In Search of the Aztecs: David Carrasco Set Out to Reveal the Secrets of Mexico's Greatest Archeological Find, El Templo Mayor. Along the Way, He Discovered His Own Roots" (online reproduction). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 

External links[edit]