Huston Smith cover

photo credits: PD

Huston Smith

religious studies scholar

1919   -   2016

country of citizenship: People's Republic of China
educated at: University of Chicago Divinity School
occupation: philosopher
influenced by: Vedanta, Traditionalist School, Frithjof Schuon

Huston Cummings Smith (May 31, 1919 – December 30, 2016) was a leading scholar of religious studies in the United States. He was widely regarded as one of the world's most influential figures in religious studies. He had authored at least thirteen books on world's religions and philosophy, and his book The World's Religions (originally titled The Religions of Man) sold over three million copies as of 2017 and remains a popular introduction to comparative religion.Born and raised in Suzhou, China in a Methodist missionary family, Huston Smith moved back to the United States at the age of 17 and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1945 with a PhD in philosophy. He spent the majority of his academic career as a professor at Washington University in St. Louis (1947-1958), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1958-1973) and Syracuse University (1973-1983). In 1983, he retired from Syracuse and moved to Berkeley, California, where he was a visiting professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Berkeley until his death.
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