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Huston Smith

Huston Smith, holder of twelve honorary degrees, is an internationally recognized philosopher and scholar of religion. His book The World's Religions has been the most widely-used textbook on its subject for a third of a century. Counting its several editions, it has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide.

In 1996, Bill Moyers devoted a 5-part PBS special to Smith's life and work, "The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith." Smith has 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.

Born of missionary parents in Soochow, Smith lived in China until he was seventeen. His youth there provided an appropriate background for his subsequent interest in comparative philosophies and religions. After receiving his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1945, Smith taught at Washington University, M.I.T., Syracuse University, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Smith's most recent books include The Way Things Are, Why Religion Matters, and Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals. His other books include The World's Religions, The Purposes of Higher Education, Forgotten Truth, Beyond the Post-Modern Mind, One Nation Under God: The Triumph of the Native American Church, and (with David Griffin) Primordial Truth and Postmodern Theology. He has authored over eighty articles in professional and popular journals.

Smith is the father of three daughters. His wife, E. Kendra Smith, Ph.D., is a psychologist. They live in Berkeley, California.

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If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
–William Blake

On this treacherous subject, where it is easy to go wrong, Smith has written a book that is as responsible as it is informed. His views are completely in accord with my own.
–Albert Hofmann, Ph.D.
author of LSD: My Problem Child