Segments in this Video

Bill Moyers Introduces Huston Smith (02:28)


Philosopher Huston Smith is a renowned scholar and interpreter of the world's religions. Bill Moyers describes the influence of Smith's childhood in China, his classic works on religion, and his interest in Confucianism and Taoism.

The Yin-Yang (03:41)

The yin-yang symbolizes the mystery of the relationship between opposites and represents the Taoist approach to life. Huston Smith describes the significance of the yin-yang in Chinese culture and shares a parable to illustrate the concept.

The Essence of Chinese Religions (04:11)

Religion scholar Huston Smith explains the interrelated nature of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism in Chinese culture. He shares an anecdote to illustrate how Chinese religious philosophy differs from traditional western thought.

Huston Smith's Journey: A Childhood in China (04:39)

Bill Moyers interviews philosopher and religious studies scholar Huston Smith. Smith describes his childhood as the son of missionary parents in China and describes the influence of Chinese folk religions and culture on his development.

Empathy and Confucianism's Five Constant Relationships (04:07)

Religion scholar Huston Smith asserts that the essence of Confucianism's contribution to the world has to do with social relationships. He explains the significance and nature of Confucianism's five constant relationships and the role of empathy.

Empathy, Love, and Human Relations (03:56)

Huston Smith explains Confucianism's emphasis on empathy and love in creating harmony at all levels of human relations. The religious studies scholar asserts the essence of Confucianism's contribution to the world has to do with social relationships.

Confucius on Culture, Civilization, and International Relations (02:41)

Confucius was quite attentive to cultural forms such as music, dance, poetry, and painting. Religion scholar Huston Smith explains Confucius saw himself as promoting ideals which would lead humanity toward fulfillment and harmony.

Huston Smith's Journey: A Mystical Revelation (04:09)

Bill Moyers interviews religious studies scholar Huston Smith. Smith describes coming to the United States after a childhood spent in China, his college days in Missouri, and a mystical experience which led him to his life's work.

Huston Smith's Journey: Spiritual Studies Pioneer (03:56)

In 1948 Huston Smith was a professor of religion, a Methodist minister, and student of Hinduism. Considered a pioneer of comparative religions and spiritual studies, Smith shares the profound impact of a Hindu swami's teaching on his Christian faith.

The Missionary Enterprise (02:08)

Huston Smith asserts the importance of missionary activities around the world, regardless of religious affiliation. Smith believes that Christians and Jews who have been "wounded" by their own traditions find wisdom and truth in other spiritual teachings.

Comparing Major Religions (04:26)

Religious studies expert Huston Smith believes the world's major religions can be categorized in three different families. He compares the different natures and characteristics of religions from the west, from China, and from southern Asia.

Hindus Practice Raja Yoga (02:19)

In the west yoga generally refers to the physical exercises associated with hatha yoga. Religious studies expert Huston Smith explains that hatha yoga is just one of eight steps in raja yoga, a comprehensive system of personal transformation.

Huston Smith Teaches Yoga in 1955 (03:04)

Bill Moyers interviews comparative religion expert Huston Smith. In 1955 Smith introduced western audiences to the ancient Hindu discipline of yoga through his televised course on world religions.

The Basics of Raja Yoga (04:19)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith has practiced yoga since being introduced to the Hindu discipline in the 1940s. He describes the basic philosophy, goals, and exercises of raja yoga.

Yoga, Health, and Spiritual Experience (02:26)

During an interview with religious studies scholar Huston Smith, Bill Moyers describes his own experience practicing yoga. Smith asserts that yoga, like all things of the spirit, must be experienced to be fully understood.

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Part of the Series : The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith: A Bill Moyers Special
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
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Born in China of missionary parents, Huston Smith learned about Chinese language, culture, and religion while growing up near Shanghai. Smith explains how the intertwining of opposites is key to understanding the great religions of China—Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Smith shows that Eastern religions provide “an emphasis on direct experience and a method for attaining that.” He introduces yoga, which he has been practicing for 50 years, as one such method. (56 minutes)

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL6235

ISBN: 978-0-7365-5647-7

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

"Huston Smith is an engaging and positive individual and therefore will captivate audiences on the college level where the film in its entirety would be most appropriate."—Education About Asia

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.