- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc; 2nd ed. edition (15 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061660184
- ISBN-13: 978-0061660184
- ASIN: 0061660183
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.6 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World's Religions Paperback – 1 Aug 2009
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From the Back Cover
Huston Smith's masterpiece explores the essential elements and teachings of the world's predominant faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the native traditions of Australia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
Emphasizing the inner—rather than the institutional—dimension of these religions, Smith devotes special attention to Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, and the teachings of Jesus. He convincingly conveys the unique appeal and gifts of each of the traditions and reveals their hold on the human heart and imagination.
About the Author
Huston Smith is internationally known and revered as the premier teacher of world religions. He is the focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers and has taught at Washington University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and the University of California at Berkeley. The recipient of twelve honorary degrees, Smith's fifteen books include his bestselling The World's Religions, Why Religion Matters, and his autobiography, Tales of Wonder.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Smith allows us to climb inside the heart and then the head and then the whole of each religion. After a few, I thought, where else can the human spirit "go" to reach out in the search for ... the power, the essence. Then he'd take me another way, another place, or, rather, he let the religions take me there. By the time you get to the end, you are all cleaned out, stretched, purified, open, available, informed.
Such a nice book, Mr. Smith. thank you.
Having said that, concerning the three religions that I already knew a lot about, this book effectively explained the main beliefs and history of those religions. So, I believe it must have done an equally good job explaining the others. The author was always respectful of each religion; they were all taken seriously. As a result, I could not tell to which religion(s) the author, himself, believed.
The book was not evangelical (which it shouldn't be). It didn't change which three religions that speak to me the most. What it did was broaden my definition of religion. By my old definition, some of the religions in this book (notably Confucianism) would have been a philosophy, but not a religion. The authors definition was more broad than mine. The definition went something like this (paraphrasing): a set of beliefs that guide the moral life of a community. By that definition, Confucianism certainly qualifies. By that definition, even an atheist probably has a religion.
The only weakness of the book, which I found, was the list of suggested further reading. I looked at a couple of the listed books about a couple different religions, and I was not impressed. But, don't let that stop you from reading this book.
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