Catalogue

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The way things are : conversations with Huston Smith on the spiritual life /
edited and with a preface by Phil Cousineau.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2003.
description
xxiv, 313 p.
ISBN
0520238168 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2003.
isbn
0520238168 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
The way things are -- The primordial tradition -- Winnowing the wisdom traditions -- This is it -- The soul of the community -- My encounter with God -- The place of science -- The limits of the scientific worldview -- Science as the oracle of our age -- Science, faith, and infinity -- Toward a partnership between science and religion -- The battle for the human mind -- The new paradigm -- Countering scientism -- The striking parallels -- The sacred dimensions of everyday life -- Demystifying daily spiritual practice -- The varieties of religious explorations -- Cleansing the doors of perception -- Fathoming psychedelic mysticism -- The wisdom of faith -- Why religion matters now more than ever.
catalogue key
4880735
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Huston Smith, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Syracuse University, is considered the country's preeminent public scholar of world religions. Smith has influenced multiple generations of readers, artists, scholars, and students. He has been profiled in a PBS series by Bill Moyers and appears frequently on national TV and radio Phil Cousineau is the author and editor of numerous books
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"My idea of heaven (here on earth) is sitting in a room and listening to Huston Smith talk (and sparkle and sing); the next best thing, surely, is having him here, as he is in these pages, passing on his contagious delight and excitement in the Real in a voice of miraculous clarity and humanity. I can't think of a more moving and beautiful, more rigorous and wise, book to help us through these troubled times."--Pico Iyer "In this his new book, Huston Smith gives us his readers a priceless gift during our time of struggle with the nature of good and evil, carefully differentiating between the concepts of good and perfect."--Robert A. Johnson, author ofInner WorkandWe "Huston Smith, in conversation, sometimes becomes as spontaneous and radiant as the ineffable beauty he talks about. Not all the time. He admits to having a spiritual flu on some days. Wherever he is, though, a clean wind of truth blows through his presence. He always makes me feel more alive! He knows, and lives, and loves whereof he speaks."--Coleman Barks, poet and translator,Rumi: The Book of Love
Flap Copy
"My idea of heaven (here on earth) is sitting in a room and listening to Huston Smith talk (and sparkle and sing); the next best thing, surely, is having him here, as he is in these pages, passing on his contagious delight and excitement in the Real in a voice of miraculous clarity and humanity. I can't think of a more moving and beautiful, more rigorous and wise, book to help us through these troubled times."--Pico Iyer "In this his new book, Huston Smith gives us his readers a priceless gift during our time of struggle with the nature of good and evil, carefully differentiating between the concepts of good and perfect."--Robert A. Johnson, author of Inner Work and We "Huston Smith, in conversation, sometimes becomes as spontaneous and radiant as the ineffable beauty he talks about. Not all the time. He admits to having a spiritual flu on some days. Wherever he is, though, a clean wind of truth blows through his presence. He always makes me feel more alive! He knows, and lives, and loves whereof he speaks."--Coleman Barks, poet and translator, Rumi: The Book of Love
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-08-01:
When asked in the preface what he has gleaned from a lifetime of studying the religions of the world, Huston Smith replies, "the winnowed wisdom of the world." Smith, who is revered as the world's premier teacher of world religions, is also the author of two best-selling books, The World's Religions and Why Religion Matters, and was the focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers. Editor Cousineau (Once and Future Myths) exemplifies this "winnowing" by offering the reader 19 insightful interviews with Smith, conducted as early as 1976 (for Parabola) and as late as May 2002 (specifically for this book). The interviewers include Bill Moyers, Philip Novak, Jeffrey Mishlove, Marsha Newman, and Timothy White. Smith devotees will recognize many favorite topics: the primordial tradition, science vs. scientism, religion and art, Plato's allegory of the cave, and a spiritual worldview, which is deepened by mystical teachings in all religions. A remarkable autobiographical window into Smith's soul, this book is reminiscent of similar interviews with the mythologist Joseph Campbell and concludes with a message on the vital importance of transcendent religion. Recommended for all readers in both academic and public libraries.-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-07-14:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that he would gladly walk 100 miles through a snowstorm for one good conversation. Fortunately, readers don't have to trudge through a blizzard or even leave their armchairs to listen in on these 22 fascinating conversations with renowned religious scholar Huston Smith. Kudos to editor and accomplished author Cousineau (The Art of Pilgrimage) for gathering these interviews that span more than 30 years. Readers will find themselves ravenously eavesdropping on captivating discussions, such as Smith's humorous story of meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time or his soothing anecdote of how he became spiritually reconciled to the death of his eldest daughter to cancer. When Smith speaks about religious violence, his insight could be relevant to any era of humanity: "First of all, my persuasion is what really breeds violence is political differences. But because religion serves as the soul of community, it gets drawn into the fracas and turns up the heat." Indeed, a lifelong career of studying the world's religions has made him especially gifted in illuminating the dialogues that are timeless. As a result, his conversations touch upon many Big Questions: what is the meaning of God? Where do science and religion meet? How can we teach children about the sacred in everyday life? Why do we move toward the light? Incidentally, Cousineau's stunning preface is worth the price of admission alone. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, July 2003
Library Journal, August 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Huston Smith has been posing philosophical questions all his life. The 23 interviews and essays in this volume offer a personal perspective on his own personal journey, as well as wide-ranging reflection on the nature and importance of the religious quest.
Long Description
"Where can we find what is ultimately meaningful? How can we discover what is truly worth knowing?" In one form or another Huston Smith has been posing these questions to himself--and the world--all his life. In the course of seeking answers, he has become one of the most interesting, enlightening, and celebrated voices on the subject of religion and spirituality throughout the world. The twenty-three interviews and essays in this volume, edited by cultural historian and filmmaker Phil Cousineau, offer a uniquely personal perspective on Smith's own personal journey, as well as wide-ranging reflection on the nature and importance of the religious quest. InThe Way Things Are,readers will find Smith in conversation with some of the world's most influential personalities and religious leaders, from journalist Bill Moyers to religion scholar Philip Novak, and recounting his personal experiences with such luminaries as Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Daisetz Suzuki, Ram Dass, and the Dalai Lama. Throughout these engaging exchanges Smith speaks with passion and humor of his upbringing as the son of missionary parents in China, of the inspiring and colorful individuals he has known, and of his impressions of the different religious and philosophical traditions he has encountered. A fascinating view of the state of world religion and religious leadership over the past fifty years, the book also looks to the future with a final interview on the vital importance of the transcendent message of religion for the post-9/11 world. Readers will findThe Way Things Areto be Huston Smith's most and accessible book to date.
Main Description
"Where can we find what is ultimately meaningful? How can we discover what is truly worth knowing?" In one form or another Huston Smith has been posing these questions to himself-and the world-all his life. In the course of seeking answers, he has become one of the most interesting, enlightening, and celebrated voices on the subject of religion and spirituality throughout the world. The twenty-three interviews and essays in this volume, edited by cultural historian and filmmaker Phil Cousineau, offer a uniquely personal perspective on Smiths own personal journey, as well as wide-ranging reflection on the nature and importance of the religious quest. In "The Way Things Are, "readers will find Smith in conversation with some of the worlds most influential personalities and religious leaders, from journalist Bill Moyers to religion scholar Philip Novak, and recounting his personal experiences with such luminaries as Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Daisetz Suzuki, Ram Dass, and the Dalai Lama. Throughout these engaging exchanges Smith speaks with passion and humor of his upbringing as the son of missionary parents in China, of the inspiring and colorful individuals he has known, and of his impressions of the different religious and philosophical traditions he has encountered. A fascinating view of the state of world religion and religious leadership over the past fifty years, the book also looks to the future with a final interview on the vital importance of the transcendent message of religion for the post-9/11 world. Readers will find "The Way Things Are" to be Huston Smiths most and accessible book to date.
Main Description
"Where can we find what is ultimately meaningful? How can we discover what is truly worth knowing?" In one form or another Huston Smith has been posing these questions to himself--and the world--all his life. In the course of seeking answers, he has become one of the most interesting, enlightening, and celebrated voices on the subject of religion and spirituality throughout the world. The twenty-three interviews and essays in this volume, edited by cultural historian and filmmaker Phil Cousineau, offer a uniquely personal perspective on Smith's own personal journey, as well as wide-ranging reflection on the nature and importance of the religious quest. In The Way Things Are, readers will find Smith in conversation with some of the world's most influential personalities and religious leaders, from journalist Bill Moyers to religion scholar Philip Novak, and recounting his personal experiences with such luminaries as Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Daisetz Suzuki, Ram Dass, and the Dalai Lama. Throughout these engaging exchanges Smith speaks with passion and humor of his upbringing as the son of missionary parents in China, of the inspiring and colorful individuals he has known, and of his impressions of the different religious and philosophical traditions he has encountered. A fascinating view of the state of world religion and religious leadership over the past fifty years, the book also looks to the future with a final interview on the vital importance of the transcendent message of religion for the post-9/11 world. Readers will find The Way Things Are to be Huston Smith's most and accessible book to date.
Table of Contents
Preface: The Way Things Are for Huston Smithp. ix
No Wasted Journey: A Theological Autobiography: Introductionp. 1
The Heart of Religion
The Way Things Arep. 17
An interview with Timothy Beneke
The Primordial Traditionp. 37
An interview with John Loudon
Winnowing the Wisdom Traditionsp. 59
An interview with Mark Kenaston
This Is Itp. 75
An interview with Richard Marranca
The Soul of the Communityp. 83
An interview with Philip and Bridgett Novak
Encountering Godp. 95
An essay by Huston Smith
The Struggle Between Science and Religion
The Place of Sciencep. 103
An interview with Steve Reuys
The Limits of the Scientific Worldviewp. 111
An interview with Jeffrey Mishlove
Science as the Oracle of Our Agep. 121
An interview with Michael Toms
Science, Faith, and Infinityp. 134
An interview with Tracy Knauss and the Reverend Jack Young
Toward a Partnership between Science and Religionp. 143
An interview with April Thompson
The Battle for the Human Mindp. 149
An interview with Richard Gazdayka
The New Paradigmp. 153
An interview with Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney
Countering Scientismp. 163
An essay by Marsha Newman
The Striking Parallelsp. 173
An interview with Phil Cousineau
From Plato's Cave to the Enchanted Garden
The Sacred Dimensions of Everyday Lifep. 191
An interview with Jeffrey Kane
Demystifying Spiritual Practicep. 207
An essay by Huston Smith, with commentary by Sarah Ban Breathnach
The Varieties of Religious Explorationp. 212
An interview with Jeffrey Mishlove
Cleansing the Doors of Perceptionp. 222
An interview with Richard Scheinin
Fathoming Psychedelic Mysticismp. 228
An interview with Timothy White
The Wisdom of Faithp. 243
An interview with Bill Moyers
Why Religion Matters Now More Than Everp. 257
An interview with Phil Cousineau
Referencesp. 281
Acknowledgmentsp. 285
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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