Segments in this Video

Understanding Other Religions (02:11)


Huston Smith believes that listening to others helps us understand our religion as well as theirs. His book, "The World's Religions," depicts his search for truth by researching other religions.

Types of Prayer and Its Purpose (05:20)

Smith outlines the types of prayers: cry for help, prayer of praise, prayer of gratitude, prayer of silence, and prayer of union. Its purpose is to help one have a sense of hope and belonging.

Jesus and Spiritual Reality (03:51)

Smith believes the modern West cannot understand the mysterious and powerful reality of Jesus’ time, especially his long nights of prayer that gave him strength and charisma.

Jesus: Both Man and God (03:07)

It is impossible for us to know what Jesus thought of himself. The doctrine of incarnation insists he is both God and man. Smith shares how Jesus tries to understand who he truly was.

Early Christians and the Resurrection (02:56)

Smith believes the first Christians were a people of joy and love. Smith says scripture is ambiguous as to whether they encountered a glorified or the physical, original body after the resurrection.

Symbolism of the Cross (03:55)

The cross is the central symbol of Christianity. The horizontal bar is our reaching out to our neighbor; the vertical bar to God. The crucifixion symbolizes how much Jesus loved the people.

Christianity's Chief Wisdom (03:03)

Other religions do not deny that God is love, but it is not the centrality of their faith. Smith believes the Trinity supports the concept of God being love. He does recognize Christianity’s flaws.

Judaism and the Sabbath (04:30)

Smith became interested in Judaism after seeing the parallels between Jesus' teachings and the Old Testament. One of his daughters converted when she married. Smith honors the Jewish Sabbath.

Heart of Judaism (03:50)

In his exploration of Judaism, Smith believes its essence is the meaning and role of sacrifice. He is constantly searching to understand this concept and refers to the Torah for examples.

God's Chosen People (03:56)

The Jews are the chosen people of God, not for a privilege, but for the responsibility of bringing forth the deepest truths of reality. Smith praises their tenacity and search for meaning.

Confucianism vs. Judaism (03:01)

Smith compares and contrasts the fundamentals of Confucianism and Judaism. He believes Judaism offers an intimacy with God and sees it as a living conversation between human and Divine.

Hebrew Prophets (03:32)

Smith believes the Hebrew prophets are extraordinary men who insist on justice. A society riddled with injustice will not last. The prophets’ message is that God has high standards.

Ethnic vs. World Religions (02:08)

Smith believes Judaism’s truths reached beyond this ethnic religion and thus Christianity began. Likewise, the truths of the ethnic Hindu religion forced the existence of Buddhism, a world religion.

Need for All Religions (01:45)

Smith shares why he remains a Methodist despite all his research and his practice of yoga. He believes the same truths are in the different traditions to fulfill the capacity of the human race.

Death and Religious Traditions (05:36)

Smith relied on the Jewish traditions after his daughter’s death. He felt her spiritual presence. All the religions teach that death is not the total end of a person or the journey.

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Christianity and Judaism

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
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Because we are removed from spirituality today, Huston Smith believes we find it difficult to understand the true meaning of Christianity. Smith explains that Christianity wouldn’t have existed if its “spirit had not been real and dense and palpable and evident to everyone around.” Smith finds the intimate relationship between the Jews and their God “a living conversation between the human and the divine that goes on generation after generation.” Through his son-in-law, Smith came to admire the beauty of the weekly Jewish shabbat, and when his daughter died, he found solace in Jewish mourning rituals. (57 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL6236

ISBN: 978-0-7365-5648-4

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

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