Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions Rev Rep Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0062508119
ISBN-10: 0062508113
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$6.49
Condition: Used - Good
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean. Great Binding. Cover Shows Light Wear.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
512 Used from $0.01
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
More Buying Choices
24 New from $4.53 512 Used from $0.01 4 Collectible from $1.99

There is a newer edition of this item:

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The World's Religions, by Huston Smith, has been a standard introduction to its eponymous subject since its first publication in 1958. Smith writes humbly, forswearing judgment on the validity of world religions. His introduction asks, "How does it all sound from above? Like bedlam, or do the strains blend in strange, ethereal harmony? ... 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." His criteria for inclusion and analysis of religions in this book are "relevance to the modern mind" and "universality," and his interest in each religion is more concerned with its principles than its context. Therefore, he avoids cataloging the horrors and crimes of which religions have been accused, and he attempts to show each "at their best." Yet The World's Religions is no pollyannaish romp: "It is about religion alive," Huston writes. "It calls the soul to the highest adventure it can undertake, a proposed journey across the jungles, peaks, and deserts of the human spirit. The call is to confront reality." And by translating the voices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, and Judaism, among others, Smith has amplified the divine call for generations of readers. --Michael Joseph Gross

Review

"Huston Smith's classic on the world's religions has justifiably become as venerable as the old texts he studies. . . . I urge all readers to make it the core of their home library." -- Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul of Sex

"Intelligent, clearly written...reveals the spirit of each faith." -- New York Times

"Intelligent, clearly written...reveals the spirit of each faith." -- -- New York Times

"Intelligent, clearly written...reveals the spirit of each faith." -- -- The New York Times Book Review

"The best one-volume book on world religions remains Huston Smith's THE WORLD RELIGIONS." -- Library Journal

"This is not only the best book of its kind, there is nothing else in its league." -- -- Stephen Mitchell

"This is one book on world religions I can't do without. I return to it often--and always with reward." -- Bill Moyers

"This is one book on world religions I can't do without. I return to it often--and always with reward." -- -- Bill Moyers

"Huston Smith's classic on the world's religions has justifiably become as venerable as the old texts he studies. I'm thrilled to see it enjoying yet another incarnation. It is more important today than it was in its first printing, and I urge everyone to make it the core of their home library." -- Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul of Sex

"Intelligent, clearly written...reveals the spirit of each faith." -- The New York Times Book Review

"This is not only the best book of its kind, there is nothing else in its league." -- Stephen Mitchell

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Rev Rep edition (September 13, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062508113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062508119
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mr. Smith extracts from the world's great religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity - that which is ideal. He intentionally does not delve into the minutiae of religious history or the many ways in which religion has been used as a vehicle for evil. As he explains, "The empowering theological and metaphysical truths of the world's religions are . . . inspired. Institutions - religious institutions emphatically included - are another story. . . ."

The book thus sets forth in careful, clear prose and clever detail the very best of seven influential world religions - their core beliefs, their inherent beauty. Mr. Smith is a genius with an analogy, and unfamiliar, or arguably bizarre, religious abstractions are summed up and made concrete in the stroke of a pen. Take, for example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. "It holds that while God is fully one, God is also three. The latter half of this claim leads Jews and Muslims to wonder if Christians are truly monotheists, but Christians are confident that they are. As water, ice, and steam, H2O ssumes states that are liquid, solid, and gaseous while retaining its chemical identity."

This brilliant book is a "must read" for everyone, of every religious persuasion. The respect it instills for diverse religious beliefs, and the manner in which the reader slowly comes to realize how much seemingly incompatable religious systems have in common, is nothing less than profound.

-- Christine Klein
1 Comment 114 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is the text book used at the high school I currently attend for the World Religion class. It is much too complex for the average high school junior so I don't know why the school chose it. I however found the book to be a remarkable literary masterpiece. It uses vivid language and broad ideas to portray many of the worlds great religions. It does not give a full detail of all the religions but only a general description and some highlight of dogma. The author limits the book to the main sect of each religion and does not go into small segregations (i.e. Christianity not Baptist). This 17 y/o high school junior believes that this book is a must read for any person looking for a faith to fit your beliefs or just anyone curious about the beliefs of other people in the world.
Comment 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Being at a stage of agnosticism, I found myself curious and needing to know more about all the religions, and decided to try Houston Smith's "The World's Religions". Smith includes the world's predominant faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and the native traditions several continents. If this is your first contact with many of these religions, you will for sure feel lost. Even in the engaging way Smith writes, there is just too much information that is left out, and I often found myself wondering about certain subjects that were mentioned but not explained. My main problem with this book was perhaps the lack of more historical facts, a clear exposure of the main differences between religions, and a better index, which is essential not only for reference but also for people who are having their first contact with religion (For instance, Torah, now what's that anyway? Hmm, no, it's not in the index...hmm).
Not even Smith's summaries at the end of each chapter will leave you with the feeling you finally understand it all, and I wouldn't mind having some graphics clarifying things out a bit better instead of having to take notes all the time - A broader view on the subject. I am perhaps spoiled with my engineering degree in college where complex matters are usually explained with the help of some diagrams, so some people might not miss this aspect.
But don't get me wrong. This book does deliver most of what it promises, and attempts to cover extremely complex matters of heart that are simply impossible to fully present in a book, much of it you will have to feel, not read.
Read more ›
Comment 161 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
_The World's Religions_ (published in its first editions as _The Religions of Man_) makes good reading for those of us who want to know a little bit about a lot of faiths. There is something here about just about every organized spiritual tradition I could think of, plus many that were new to me.
Smith explains each religion with a clear, nonjudgmental style. His aim is to give a broad survey, rather than defend a thesis. Beginning readers of comparative religion will find this book a great introduction and an invaluable resource.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on February 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most meaningful and insightful books I have ever read. Mr. Smith gives the reader a reasonable explanation of each of the world's major religions. One of the most interesting parts of the book is the discussion of the historical period that gave birth to each religion. While I have never met Mr. Smith or heard him speak, I suspect he has studied linguistics along with religion. I say this because he often takes time to explain meanings of concepts in the context of their native language and culture. I found this fascinating.
As someone who has tried to write, I found Mr. Smith's talent in this area to be awe-inspiring. I can't count the number of times I would read a paragraph, then look back in amazement at the depth of information that had been conveyed in such a small space. For those who seek to understand other cultures and religions, or even to better understand their own, this book is a gift.
Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews