The Religions of Man

The Religions of Man Here is a unique study of the world s great religions Hinduism Buddhism Confucianism Taoism Islam Judaism and Christianity It is not a history it is not a critique Instead it explains simply an

  • Title: The Religions of Man
  • Author: Huston Smith
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Paperback
  • Here is a unique study of the world s great religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity It is not a history it is not a critique Instead it explains, simply and sympathetically, the basic tenets of each religion an d the reasons why it attracts millions of devout followers As the author writes in the first chapter, This is a bHere is a unique study of the world s great religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity It is not a history it is not a critique Instead it explains, simply and sympathetically, the basic tenets of each religion an d the reasons why it attracts millions of devout followers As the author writes in the first chapter, This is a book about religion that existst as a dull habit but as an acute fever It is about religion alive And whenever religion comes to life it displays a startling quality it takes over All else, while not silenced, becomes subdued and thrown without contest into a supporting role Thoroughly researched, The Religions of Man carries its scholarship lightly It is a dependable, informative, fascinating presentation of both the differences and similarities in the major religious traditions And it is essential for anyone who would understand peoples of other lands, other cultures, other religions.

    • The Religions of Man BY Huston Smith
      413 Huston Smith
    • thumbnail Title: The Religions of Man BY Huston Smith
      Posted by:Huston Smith
      Published :2019-07-24T06:12:37+00:00

    About " Huston Smith "

  • Huston Smith

    Smith was born in Suzhou, China to Methodist missionaries and spent his first 17 years there He taught at the Universities of Colorado and Denver from 1944 1947, moving to Washington University in St Louis, Missouri for the next ten years, and then Professor of Philosophy at MIT from 1958 1973 While at MIT he participated in some of the experiments with entheogens that professor Timothy Leary conducted at Harvard University He then moved to Syracuse University where he was Thomas J Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy until his retirement in 1983 and current emeritus status He now lives in the Berkeley, CA area where he is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.During his career, Smith not only studied, but practiced Vedanta Hinduism, Zen Buddhism studying under Goto Zuigan , and Sufism for over ten years each He is a notable autodidact.As a young man, Smith, of his own volition, after suddenly turning to mysticism, set out to meet with then famous author Gerald Heard Heard responded to Smith s letter, invited him to his Trabuco College later donated as the Ramakrishna Monastery in Southern California, and then sent him off to meet the legendary Aldous Huxley So began Smith s experimentation with meditation, and association with the Vedanta Society in Saint Louis under the auspices of Swami Satprakashananda of the Ramakrishna order.Via the connection with Heard and Huxley, Smith eventually experimented with Timothy Leary and others at the Center for Personality Research, of which Leary was Research Professor The experience and history of the era are captured somewhat in Smith s book Cleansing the Doors of Perception In this period, Smith joined in on the Harvard Project as well, an attempt to raise spiritual awareness through entheogenic plants.He has been a friend of the XIVth Dalai Lama for than forty years, and met and talked to some of the great figures of the century, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Thomas Merton.He developed an interest in the Traditionalist School formulated by Rene Guenon and Ananda Coomaraswamy This interest has become a continuing thread in all his writings.In 1996, Bill Moyers devoted a 5 part PBS special to Smith s life and work, The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith Smith has produced three series for public television The Religions of Man, The Search for America, and with Arthur Compton Science and Human Responsibility His films on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won awards at international film festivals.His latest DVD release is The Roots of Fundamentalism A Conversation with Huston Smith and Phil Cousineau.


  • This is a rather old book, comparatively speaking. Copyright, 1958. It's a quick paperback introduction to the basic tenets of the world's largest religions so I don't think most of the content has become invalidated by the passage of a few years.It is solely my opinion that it does a decent job of this. On the flip side, the author was clearly Catholic and sometimes takes some interesting stances that I didn't agree with. This was troubling because, if he did that when discussing religions I wa [...]

  • This was assigned reading either in high school or in the first year of college. It probably fed my inclination to borrow ideas that seemed useful rather than adopting a single belief system. I wouldn't be surprised if it were still being used as a survey.

  • Prof. Smith's, The Religions of Man, opens up through Comparative Religion an opportunity to see the greats faiths of this globe in ways that engage and show respect and honor to all people. When I was a newcomer to Bangkok in 1989 and in Thai language school I was able to read, study, and use this text to teach advanced English to classes of Buddhist monks studying at the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya Buddhist University of Bangkok. It was my honor to teach them, and learn much from these earn [...]

  • I show the date-started & the date-ended 2009-2016 because I keep re-reading part of this terrific book. Smith compiled his book with the thought that he would present each current major religion from the perspective of how & why a person would love: the Jewish faith or Islam, or Shinto, or Christianity, etc. The reader is begins to see the beauty in each faith. His summation of each faith is the very best you can find in a 1 volume read. Buy this book for your own library - you will wan [...]

  • It is amazing to me, whatever an individuals outlook on the effects or benefits thereof, how many people do not even take the time to grasp a basic understanding of the world's major religions. Dr. Huston Smith is an expert on the history, content, and sociological impact of religions throughout history. However, this is not that book. He does not take a stand. Instead, he simply lays out the basic tenets of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Catholicism for the purpos [...]

  • Smith was a well-known professor of religious studies, and he wrote this book as a teaching aid. It is a decent introduction and overview of the world's religions.The first dozen pages of Smith's two chapters on Jesus and the Buddha are without parallel; Smith presented Jesus and Gautama as great and compassionate radicals with much in common with each other. Because of this book, I did a bunch of additional reading about Buddhism and Taoism, in particular. These two chapters, in the book's orig [...]

  • 'The Religions of Man' is the seminal work in the scholarship of world spiritual traditions, by the eminent and beloved Huston Smith, who was born to a Christian Missionary family in China and raised among books and humanity to embody a life of nearly a century questing for the meaning of our souls, hearts, and language of seeking, of faith, and of shared purpose. I was privileged to be a graduate student mentored by Huston Smith in his last period of revising the book to engage humanity during [...]

  • I found this book - published in the 1950s - on a shelf at the back of the school library. That version of the book is no longer in print; there's an updated version under the title "The World Religions." Why is this book so wonderful? Author Huston Smith discusses each religion not by breaking down its practices and specifics. Instead, he gets at the soul of the religion. It's much about philosophy, spiritual and non-spiritual, than the cut-and-dry religion any standard book would provide. I ha [...]

  • A thorough and academic overview of the seven world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity). It explains in very simplistic terms the basic beliefs of each religion and it amazes me how similar they are. In many of these sacred texts, for instance, makes references to the Virgin Mary. I thought it was really interesting and I wholly recommend this to every person out there.

  • I had the great good fortune in taking Professor Smith's comparative religion course up at UC Berkeley and then saw him interview the Dalai Lama at a one day conference at UCLA. This was a great textbook written by someone who really had a deep respect and comprehensive knowledge of all religions. The last chapter on Christianity read more like a thoughtful essay than a breakdown of the religion, maybe because he assumes most people are familiar with the basics.

  • This is a very old book indeed. It was first published in 1958 by Harper & Row. This is not a history book about world religions but a brief run on the tenets of each belief and its structure. Written by Huston Smith who was a professor of Philosophy at MIT. It starts with Chapter One – Point of Departure and ended with Chapter Nine- A Final Examination.

  • Long ago, Huston Smith was content with describing religions in a non-judgmental way.More recently, he's been more concerned with portraying them as an objective good. But, back in the day, there was no better source to learn about the various religions without feeling like there was an agenda behind it.

  • After 9-11, I was grateful to have this book on my shelf. It provided insight into the "real" beliefs of a majority of Muslims in the world today. However, some of the author's information about my religion was incorrect. Therefore, I cannot favorably rate it.

  • "There are many roads to the Mountain Top" This is the premise as Huston Smith explores the World's great religeons. Worth the time to read. Leaves the reader with a humble appreciation of a spiritual quest.

  • Excellent synopsis of the modern world's major religions. Wonderfully written. The notoriety of this work is well deserved. Easy to understand. Highly recommended. Do not be dissuaded because it is an "old" book.

  • This is one of the best introductions to world religions. I first read this book in my high school humanities class. This opened my eyes to other ways to view spirituality. In today's world we all need to know more about other cultures.

  • CLASSIC BOOK! Dr. Smith is tremendous! Great intoduction to major world religions.I have read this at least 4 times and am now on re-read #5.His love of religious traditions still shines through. He's a bit of a hero for me I will confess.

  • Previously unfamiliar religions are revealed to the reader in surprising depth, from obviously extensive research. The objectivity with which each religion is presented is refreshing and most welcome to the inquisitive mind seeking information in the absence of judgemental preconceptions.

  • Huston Smith makes the difficult concepts of world religions easy to understand. I'm fortunate to have traveled with him as part of a large group in 1984. I've used this book to prepare lecture material for Adult Continuing Education classes. This is a classic in the study of world religions!

  • Still have my copy from High School. Still refer to it when I'm baffled by some aspect of a faith tradition with which I am unfamiliar

  • Houston Smith covers this very broad topic of religion in a very understandable and concise way that often makes it easier for the reader to grasp.

  • Amazing comparative religion book. Does a great job of showing the similarities of religions without coming off as hokey or new agey.

  • A wonderful introduction to the different religions of mankind. For those people who wish to try and understand as opposed to merely criticize.

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