The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$12.71
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (406) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $9.98   
  • Used (400) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$9.98
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(1006)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1991-09-13 Paperback New NEW-IT IS BRAND NEW-clean text, tight binding, It is free from any foreign markings.

Ships from: Rockford, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$9.98
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(1006)

Condition: New
1991-09-13 Paperback New NEW-IT IS BRAND NEW-clean text, tight binding, It is free from any foreign markings.

Ships from: Rockford, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$9.98
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(1006)

Condition: New
1991-09-13 Paperback New NEW-IT IS BRAND NEW-clean text, tight binding, It is free from any foreign markings.

Ships from: Rockford, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$12.39
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(169)

Condition: New
Ships same day. Very slight shelf wear. Tracking Included.

Ships from: Hudsonville, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$105.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(185)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$105.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(185)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by

Overview

Originally titled The Religions of Man, this completely revised and updated edition of Smith′s masterpiece, now with an engaging new foreword, explores the essential elements and teachings of the world′s predominant faiths, including:

Hinduism,

Buddhism,

Confucianism,

Taoism,

Islam,

Judaism,

Christianity,

and the native traditions of the Americas, Australia, Africa, and Oceania.

Emphasising 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.

A completely new edition of one of the most popular and readable introductions to the history of religions ever published--more than 1.5 million copies sold. "An excellent study for the thoughtful layman."--Booklist, on the earlier edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Intelligent, clearly written...reveals the spirit of each faith.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062508119
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1991
  • Edition description: Revised and updated
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet 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.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Point of Departure



Although the individuals that I name are now only memories for me, I begin this second edition of this book with the four paragraphs that launched its first edition.

I write these opening lines on a day widely celebrated throughout Christendom as World-Wide Communion Sunday. The sermon in the service I attended this morning dwelt on Christianity as a world phenomenon. From mud huts in Africa to the Canadian tundra, Christians are kneeling today to receive the elements of the Holy Eucharist. It is an impressive picture.

Still, as I listened with half my mind, the other half wandered to the wider company of God-seekers. I thought of the Yemenite Jews I watched six months ago in their synagogue in Jerusalem: darkskinned men sitting shoeless and cross-legged on the floor, wrapped in the prayer shawls their ancestors wore in the desert. They are there today, at least a quorum of ten, morning and evening, swaying backwards and forwards like camel riders as they recite their Torah, following a form they inherit unconsciously from the centuries when their fathers were forbidden to ride the desert horse and developed this pretense in compensation. Yalcin, the Muslim architect who guided me through the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, has completed his month's Ramadan fast, which was beginning while we were together; but he too is praying today, five times as he prostrates himself toward Mecca. Swami Ramakrishna, in his tiny house by the Ganges at the foot of the Himalayas, will not speak today. He will continue the devotional silence that, with the exception of three days each year, he has keptfor five years. By this hour U Nu is probably facing the delegations, crises, and cabinet meetings that are the lot of a prime minister, but from four to six this morning, before the world broke over him, he too was alone with the eternal in the privacy of the Buddhist shrine that adjoins his home in Rangoon. Dai Jo and Lai San, Zen monks in Kyoto, were ahead of him by an hour. They have been up since three this morning, and until eleven tonight will spend most of the day sitting immovable in the lotus position as they seek with intense absorption to plumb the Buddha-nature that lies at the center of their being.

What a strange fellowship this is, the God-seekers in every land, lifting their voices in the most disparate ways imaginable to the God of all life. How does it sound from above? Like bedlam, or do the strains blend in strange, ethereal harmony? Does one faith carry the lead, or do the parts share in counterpoint and antiphony where not in full-throated chorus?

We cannot know. All we can do is try to listen carefully and with full attention to each voice in turn as it addresses the divine.

Such listening defines the purpose of this book. It may be wondered if the purpose is not too broad. The religions we propose to consider belt the world. Their histories stretch back thousands of years, and they are motivating more people today than ever before. Is it possible to listen seriously to them within the compass of a single book?

The answer is that it is, because we shall be listening for welldefined themes. These must be listed at the outset or the pictures that emerge from these pages will be distorted.

1. This is not a textbook in the history of religions. This explains the scarcity of names, dates, and social influences in what follows. There are useful books that focus on such material.' This one too could have been swollen with their facts and figures, but it is not its intent to do their job in addition to its own. Historical facts are limited here to the minimum that is needed to locate in space and time the ideas the book focuses on. Every attempt has been made to keep scholarship out of sight -in foundations that must be sturdy, but not as scaffolding that would obscure the structures being examined.

2. 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?

The answer, of course, is that it is not possible -- selection is unavoidable. The question facing an author is not whether to select among points of view; the questions are how many to present, and which ones. In this book the first question is answered economically; 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 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.

When we turn to which views to present, the guideline has been relevance to the interests of the intended reader. Three considerations have figured in determining this relevance. First, there is the simple matter of numbers. There are some faiths that every citizen should be acquainted with, simply because hundreds of millions of people live by them. The second consideration has been relevance to the modem mind. Because the ultimate benefit that may accrue from a book such as this is help in the ordering of the reader's own life, I have given priority to what (with caution yet a certain confidence) we may regard as these religions' contemporary expressions. The third consideration is universality Every religion mixes universal principles with local peculiarities. The former, when lifted out and made clear, speak to what is generically human in us all. The latter, rich compounds of rites and legends, are not easy for outsiders to comprehend. It is one of the illusions of rationalism that the universal principles of religion are more important than the rites and rituals that feed them; to make that claim is like contending that the branches and leaves of a tree are more important than the roots from which they grow. But for this book, principles are more important...

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Awesome and informative

    Whether you are faith-hopping or just would like to know more about other people's belief systems, this book is for you. I read it cover to cover, but it would make a great reference book as well. Easy to read and very well researched. I was amazed at how little I actually knew about other religions. After reading this, I feel I am better able to understand other people around me. Does a great job of explaining different types of Christianity (Cathollic, Protestant, etc) and the other seven major religions too. Highly recommend.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    Excellent source of information on world religions

    An excellent read for anyone looking for a clean and concise explaination of the world's religions. Each section is well organized and flows well. I was genuinely impressed by the author's extensive knowledge on the topic and his ability to translate that knowledge effectively. I have read the book twice and expect that I will continue to use it as a source of reference.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A humane review of world religions

    I read this book decades ago, and recently bought a copy to refresh my memory. Unlike other World Religion books, this volume goes beyond lists of dogmata, but gets into what each religion means to its members, and how it enriches their lives. Uniquely, it does this for Hinduism, which is described very poorly in other books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Basics for all religions

    This book was assigned reading for a college Eastern & Western Religion class. In fact, it was the only book chosen by my philosophy professor for required text books. My professor speaks very highly of this author and it is apparent to me why after reading this book.

    The author breaks down the the largest world religions in their most basic core form. It has given me a new appreciation for each faith. We are all victims of media perception and it clouds our judgment on faiths such as Muslim. Smith will show you the true meaning and history of the larger faiths. What is most interesting after reading this book is the common threads that run through all of the religions.

    This is a must read book for all ages! I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    The World's Religion

    This is such an inspiring books to me to take a look inside the diff religions and cultures of southasia. There is so many insightful quotes and phrases Huston Smith has to say about. I actually learned about him in my world music class and ever since then have found an obsession about his work! If you are as curious as i am and would like to learn more about the world;s religion by all means this is where to start! It def helps to have a little background knowledge before jumping in the deep end but if you're like me go get your feet wet! :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2006

    a great introduction

    This is a great introduction to the world's religions. It's slender and reads easily. Smith has a gift for taking complex religious and philosophical ideas and making them easy to understand. I'd start with this book as a survey and then move on to more technical books. But this one may be all you need.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2003

    A must read for any young adult seeking intellectual peace!

    A excellent read for anyone seeking tranquility in this complex world!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    Very informative for me. . .

    But the book seems to take on a pretentious air, using obscure words that most wouldnt understand.If the author wanted this book to be informative to all reading it then he should have chosen a more limited vocabulary and not spoken above his audience's head.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    This book is very insightful and interesting with the knowledge

    This book is very insightful and interesting with the knowledge and explanations it provides for the religions it talks of. It eliminates the source of stereotypes and judgement individuals and societies through the examination of what the religion really is.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Religions of Man with a new title

    An incredible book about humanity's search for God. This is a journey into religion from the beginning. You might be surprised when you find there is more to religion and faith than you think you know. "Connections" is one word to describe this book. Huston Smith is an awe-inspiring author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Still a good comparison of religions

    I first used this an edition of this book in high school in the late 1950's. It was a terrific tool then, and it still is. It has taken me many years to find it again, but I am very glad I have. It provides an easily understood explanation of the basic tenets of the world's major religions. Which is just what I wanted.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2000

    A compassionate view of all religions

    A wonderfully written book. Smith writes from compassion and non-judgement as he explores the Great Wisdom in each of the world's religions. Basically a non-religious person myself, I began to fully value the traditions within each religion. This book challenged my prejudices.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2000

    Makes you question your own religion!

    This book has information on every religion you can think of. And if you're not the religios type, than this book answers your questions and might change your mind. But personally, this book made me question my religion. It makes you think about your so called 'religion'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)