From Library Journal
Smart (The World's Religions, LJ 11/1/98) presents a narrative history arranged geographically. After an introductory outline chapter, the concepts that arose on the ancient subcontinent of India, in Chinese antiquity, and so on, are developed culture by culture and epoch by epoch. Smart weaves an explanation of religious developments among Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and Christians into nearly as thorough a tapestry as his presentation of secular thought. This seems wholly appropriate, given how religious ideas traditionally suffuse philosophical ones, but, in many cases, the author's interest in religious nuance downplays the distinction between religion and philosophy. Most troubling in this large and academic text is the complete lack of quotation and, too often, the absence of particular vocabulary developed by the philosophers and movements under discussion. The exhaustive chapter-by-chapter bibliographies range widely to include reference works, primary sources, and popular works. For academic collections.?Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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'As a work of reference, this will be invaluable. Smart's analysis of such crucial thinkers as Buddha, Confucius, Descartes and Derrida is imprecccable.'
Karen Armstrong, The Times
'In a work of amazing breadth and cogency, the acknowledged master of the study of world civilization leads us through the philosophies that have guided some corners of humanity and today lay claim to a hearing everywhere...This is a masterpiece of lucid description, analusis and interpretation.'
'Imagine... all the philosophies of the world in a single book...it can stimulate our interest in aspects of philosohy which may be new to us, motivating us to be more open-minded...and to rethink our own worldviews.'
The Philosopher's Magazine