Main CategoriesWestern Mysticism and PhilosophySyncretism and the Perennial Philosophy World's Religions, The

World's Religions, The

World's Religions, The

Product no.: 0-06-250811-3
A completely revised and updated edition by Professor Huston Smith of his original best-selling classic (a standard spiritual primer), The Religions of Man.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Emphasizing the inner - rather than institutional - dimensions 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.


"Intelligent, clearly written... reveals the spirit of each faith."     ~The New York Times


"Even in the realm of meanings the book does not attempt to give a rounded view of the religions considered, for each hosts differences that are too numerous to be delineated in a single chapter. One need only think of Christendom. Eastern Orthodox Christians worship in ornate cathedrals, while Quakers consider even steeples desecrations. There are Christian mystics and Christians who reject mysticism. There are Christian Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Unitarians. How is it possible to say in a manageable chapter what Christianity means to all Christians?

I try to do reasonable justice to several perspectives instead of attempting to catalogue them all. In the case of Islam, this has meant ignoring Sunni/Shi'ite and traditional/modernist divisions, while noting different attitudes toward Sufism. In Buddhism I distinguish its Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions, but the major schools within Mahayana are bypassed. The subdivisions never exceed three lest trees obscure the woods.

Put the matter in this way: If you were trying to describe Christianity to an intelligent and interested but busy Thailander, how many denominations would you include? It would be difficult to ignore the differences between Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Protestant, but you would probably not get into what separates Baptists from Presbyterians."

Author Smith, Huston
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 416 pp.
Publisher HarperCollins 1991
Browse these categories as well: Syncretism and the Perennial Philosophy, Gods, Goddesses and Archetypes

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