This book has seven basic chapters: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. These he calls the “Major Historical Religions”. They all have sacred texts. This book was intended to be a brief survey without an in-depth analysis. A new section was added to The World's Religions. It is entitled “The Primal Religions”. It describes a broad sweep of religions such as those practiced by the Australian Aborigines, by the Native American Indians of North and South America and the religions of the interior of Africa.
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.