Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.99
  • Save: $8.20 (33%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast shipping from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $35. Overnight, 2 day and International shipping available! Excellent Customer Service.. May not include supplements such as CD, access code or DVD.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Sell It Now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Illustrated World's Religions: A Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions Paperback – August 18, 1995


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.79
$9.14 $6.44
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of January
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Frequently Bought Together

The Illustrated World's Religions: A Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions + The World's Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World's Religions
Price for both: $30.86

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st HarperCollins Pbk. Ed edition (August 18, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060674407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060674403
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In lucid and captivating prose, Smith, the dean of world religionists, conducts readers on a whirlwind tour of the beliefs, practices and experiences of the world's religious traditions. Smith explores the major features of these religions by combining his own worlds with passages from the sacred texts of each. In addition, beautifully arresting images of icons, religious practitioners, sacred texts and sacred art accompany Smith's lyrical writing. The words and images of this book continually remind us that the world's faiths are not stagnant pools of decaying values but dynamic and vibrant waters from which their practitioners daily drink. The book also brings within range of our American hearing the voices of a wide variety of people for whom religion is the central fact of social and cultural life. If one buys only one of the number of recent introductions to world religions, this should be it.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Much is gained and lost in this third incarnation of a highly readable work first published in 1958 as The Religions of Man, which spoke without arcane religious jargon about seven major world religions. The title has been changed to eliminate gender bias, and the book itself is lavishly illustrated, with photographs that add a powerful visual dimension to the text and make the reader more aware of the importance of art in presenting religious ideas. What is lost is a great deal of text. Now whittled down by a third, this fine introductory-level college text has been reduced to a lightweight primer. Luckily for deeper readers, the second incarnation, The World's Religions (HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), is still available. Appropriate for public libraries.
Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

More About the Author

Huston Cummings Smith (born May 31, 1919) is among the preeminent religious studies scholars in the United States. His work, The Religions of Man (later revised and retitled The World's Religions), is a classic in the field, with over two million copies sold, and it remains a common introduction to comparative religion.

Smith was born in Soochow, China, to Methodist missionaries and spent his first 17 years there. He taught at the Universities of Colorado and Denver from 1944 to 1947, moved to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for the next 10 years, and then served as professor of Philosophy at MIT from 1958 to 1973. While at MIT, he participated in some of the experiments with entheogens that professor Timothy Leary conducted at Harvard University. Smith then moved to Syracuse University, where he was Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy until his retirement in 1983 and current emeritus status. He now lives in the Berkeley, California, area where he is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

During his career, Smith not only studied but also practiced Vedanta Hinduism, Zen Buddhism (under Goto Zuigan), and Sufism for over 10 years each. He is a notable autodidact.

As a young man, of his own volition after suddenly turning to mysticism, Smith set out to meet with then-famous author Gerald Heard. Heard responded to Smith's letter, invited him to Trabuco College (later donated as the Ramakrishna Monastery) in Southern California, and then sent him off to meet the legendary Aldous Huxley. So began Smith's experimentation with meditation and his association with the Vedanta Society in Saint Louis under the auspices of Swami Satprakashananda of the Ramakrishna order.

Via the connection with Heard and Huxley, Smith eventually experimented with Timothy Leary and others at the Center for Personality Research, of which Leary was research professor. The experience and history of that era are captured somewhat in Smith's book Cleansing the Doors of Perception. In this period, Smith joined in on the Harvard Project as well, in an attempt to raise spiritual awareness through entheogenic plants.

He has been a friend of the XIVth Dalai Lama for more than 40 years, and has met and talked to some of the great figures of the century, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Thomas Merton.

Smith developed an interest in the Traditionalist School formulated by Rene Guenon and Ananda Coomaraswamy. This interest has become a continuing thread in all his writings.

In 1996 Bill Moyers devoted a five-part PBS special to Smith's life and work: The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith. Smith has also produced three series for public television: The Religions of Man, The Search for America, and (with Arthur Compton) Science and Human Responsibility.

His films on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won awards at international film festivals. His latest DVD release is The Roots of Fundamentalism--A Conversation with Huston Smith and Phil Cousineau.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#77 in Books > History
#77 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

I found all of these sections very illuminating.
arye orona
For those wanting to understand the core beliefs of world religions, this book is an excellent place to start.
Debbie Lee Wesselmann
This book is adorned with beautiful pictures, and is very informative!
Sara Student

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Gary Sprandel on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has deep respect for the wisdom traditions and Huston Smith has lived this. A practicing Methodist, Smith had discussions with the Vendanta Society, does Hatha Yoga, and prays five times a day like the Muslims. His perspective is not one looking for divisions within a religion, but as an outsider wanting to understand the experiences. For example, in discussing Islam, he talks about the Sufis, but not about the division between Sunnis and Shi'ites.
This book is less about details, facts, and religious holidays, and more about the underlying meaning and unique insight of each religion. E.g., in discussing Hinduism he looks at "What people really want", about a wearing out of the material world. In the chapter of Judaism he discusses meaning in history and justice.
The illustrations complement the text with a symbolic sense of the culture and beliefs. Looking at a sculpture of a very sensual Shiva with consorts helps one realize that the Hindu view of pleasure may be different than your own. The Buddhist and Taoism paintings project a sense of peace. The photographs of the worshippers are very respectful.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By arye orona on September 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this book Huston discusses many of the major world religions, or systems of belief: Christianity, Judaeism, Islam, Hindism, Animism, etc. The Neutrality in his approach to these religions is refreshing. He's able to discuss the beliefs and practices of each of these religions without saying that one, or the other is necesarilly correct. Thus, the book doesn't get bogged down in discussing the truth claims of any one religion.

Huston has obviously done a great deal of research in the area of World religions. This work is an interesting and informative guide to understanding why people believe what they believe. In each section he gives a brief discussion of the history of each system of belief (for instance, he talks about Siddhartha's life in the section about Bhuddism). He then continues to discuss the main points, or fundamental beliefs, of each religion. In these discussions, Huston is concise and incredibly informative. Again, it's very obvious that he's done his homework. I found all of these sections very illuminating.
All of the major branches of religion are repressented here (both oriental and occidental thought). That doesn't necesarilly mean that all of the offshoots of any particular religion are repressented --that would probably lead to a much larger, more cumbersome work. With this in mind, Huston's book is an excellent source of information on the various world religions. I would recomend the book to anybody with an interest in religion. It is an excellent tool to help you understand the world, and is well worth the read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
For those wanting to understand the core beliefs of world religions, this book is an excellent place to start. Author Smith includes chapters on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and the "Primal Religions," or early tribal beliefs. While each section is remarkably detailed, this book remains an introduction, not a comprehensive examination. The explanations are straightforward and clear without being overly simplified. The illustrations and photographs, most in color, illuminate moments of each religion's faithful.
For students and scholars and the curious, this is a good reference book to own, if for no other reason than to expand your understanding of world beliefs. If you are looking for in-depth analysis, you would be better off looking elsewhere.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Adam Lynch (alynch@sprawl.eznet.net) on February 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I was 16, I started questioning my beliefs as an atheist. Never before had I questioned the fact that there was "something else," and I never had any idea of the rest of the world's religions. Then I ran across this book, and it opened up a whole new world to me. No longer was I smug in my avowment that there was no God. I actually began to understand why and how people could follow their faith, even to levels that would seem in excess to most people in the Western world. This book is a must read for those who are Searching, and for those who are even a little curious about other spiritual beliefs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Shazzer on June 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'd never taken a class on any religion other than Christianity. And I live in a predominately Christian area of the US. So, I've always hungered for a different voice. Not to negate the faith around me, but to add scope to the human experience. But I didn't really know where to start. There are so many books out there that attempt to give an overview of the major world religions. And while I certainly haven't read them all, I can tell you that I can easily recommend this book to start your religious education. Mr. Smith has an obvious love and respect for religion that he wishes to impart onto his readers. He does this with a conversational tone that he embellishes with beautiful sacred art. I particularly enjoy that this book is straight-forward and easy to read without being condescending. And though Smith holds religion in such high regard, I feel he wants us to treat it with reverance but not passivity. I feel that his goal is invite the reader to treat religion as an ancient spiritual tribe that everyone has the power to join in today, not the human-driven institutions that disenchant so many today.

Read this as a jumping off point for your own explorations, and you'll begin this journey well-informed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?