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Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper

Product no.: 978-1891785290
Huston Smith is recognized and revered as the preeminent teacher of world religions while being a prolific author and scholar.

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Publisher's Synopsis
His bestselling The World's Religions, sold more than two million copies and is still the most popular introduction to comparative religion. Huston Smith followed a lifelong spiritual quest that led him around the world many times. He studied the world's religions and mystical traditions directly with Aldous Huxley, D. T. Suzuki, J. Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr, the Dalai Lama, Joseph Campbell, Ram Dass, and a host of others.

Huston, as a renowned philosopher of religion, taught at Washington University, M.I.T., Syracuse University, and the University of California-Berkeley, and during his career helped shape the contemporary face of comparative religion, interfaith dialogue, and religious tolerance. As a seeker, he became a citizen of the world, plunging into its various spiritual traditions. His many insights and adventures fill this compelling and edifying book, the authorized biography of a 21st-century spiritual giant.

"More than three-quarters of the way through this extraordinary biography (though that label barely captures this book’s breadth and richness) of the scholar of religion Huston Smith, we find him at the age of seventy-three in a ceremonial tent in rural Mazatlan participating in an arduous, four-day Native American peyote ritual. Not merely observing, but fully participating in a series of all-night vigils, including ingesting peyote.

We learn that he is not in the best of health, having recently been operated on for prostate cancer. His companions are members of the Native American Church who have come to Mexico from the United States with a film crew to make a documentary about their practices. They hope that the documentary will sway public and judicial opinion in their favor regarding a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the criminalization of the Church’s traditional use of psychedelic substances in its rituals.

This episode epitomizes Huston Smith as reflected throughout Wisdomkeeper: a distinguished scholar who is fully engaged with the spirit and practices of the religions he studies and writes about, making them co-extensive with his own intellectual and spiritual evolution; a man of principle who has always kept an eye on the practical and political dimensions of his areas of expertise and has repeatedly been willing to use his position of authority to advance progressive social causes; an adventurer into the realms of pharmacologically altered experience in order to better understand the pervasive mystical traditions that thread their way through the major world religions; and a good sport in getting right into the gritty midst of things with others in order to have a real feel for what it must be like to believe as they do.

Through the years, even while maintaining a public presence through lecturing and TV appearances on the highly acclaimed series The Wisdom of Faith, moderated by Bill Moyers, as well as a long involvement with the Esalen Institute, Huston has privately embraced a succession of spiritual practices, most prominently Zen Buddhism and Sufism, even while maintaining his original identity as a Protestant Christian. As portrayed in Wisdomkeeper, he has done so without succumbing to a kind of spiritual tourism, but rather as someone who recognizes how these apparently disparate traditions complement one another."         ~Parabola Magazine

"The goal of spiritual life is not altered states, but altered traits."

Huston Smith is internationally known and revered as the premier teacher of world religions. He is the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University. For 15 years he was Professor of Philosophy at M.I.T. and for a decade before that he taught at Washington University in St. Louis. Most recently he has served as Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Author Sawyer, Dana
Coauthor Smith, Huston
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 320 pp.
Publisher Fons Vitae 2014
Browse these categories as well: Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Syncretism and the Perennial Philosophy, Neoshamanism and Entheogenic Healing, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Noteworthy Releases 2014

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