Segments in this Video

Bill Moyers Introduces Huston Smith (03:13)


Philosopher Huston Smith is a renowned scholar and interpreter of the world's religions. He is a Christian but also incorporates into his daily life spiritual practices from Islam and from other great world religions.

Islamic Prayer (05:18)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith describes to Bill Moyers his connection with the Islamic mystics called Sufis. Smith structures each day, as Muslims do, around five scheduled times of prayer.

The Koran (04:25)

Bill Moyers interviews comparative religion scholar Huston Smith about Islam. Smith discusses the significance of the Koran for Muslims and addresses difficulties Christians and Muslims have interpreting each other's holy books.

The Mosque (02:14)

World religions expert Huston Smith asserts that the architecture of Islamic mosques demonstrates compassion and concern for the worshiper. He details the sober, peaceful nature of mosques.

Muhammad's Role in Islam (03:59)

Comparative religion scholar Huston Smith explains what non-Muslims should understand about the significance of Muhammad in Islam. He asserts that Muhammad served as an example of how to live a life totally devoted to Allah.

Islamic Mystics and the Five Pillars of Islam (04:44)

Sufis are the mystics of Islam. Religious studies scholar Huston Smith describes the beliefs and practices of the Sufis and details the ways in which they fulfill the Five Pillars of Islam.

Sufis Dance to Experience the Divine (05:20)

Most Muslims abstain from dancing but for Sufis dancing is a meditation that brings them to Allah. Religious studies scholar Huston Smith explains the significance of dancing for these Islamic mystics and he describes his experiences with the Sufis.

Mysticism (03:01)

Comparative religion scholar Huston Smith defines mysticism and describes the nature of mystical experiences. He asserts that mysticism transcends and blurs divisions between specific religions.

Mystical Sufi Poetry (05:46)

The 13th century Sufi poet Rumi expressed mystical experience through verse. Religious studies expert Huston Smith reads from Rumi's work and interprets the ways in which it expresses union with the divine.

Authentic Mystical Experience (00:60)

Bill Moyers interviews religious studies scholar Huston Smith. Smith asserts that authentic mystical experience is associated with the development of deeper levels of empathy and compassion.

Symbolic Head Coverings in Islam (01:20)

Comparative religion scholar Huston Smith explains the symbolism of head coverings worn by Islamic men. In Islam the covering represents a shield which prevents the intense power of the divine from consuming a man.

Misunderstanding Islam (04:18)

Religious studies expert Huston Smith asserts that in the west there is great misunderstanding about Islam. Smith describes the necessity for Islam and Christianity to develop a relationship of mutual understanding.

Common Ground Among Religions (02:52)

Bill Moyers interviews religious studies expert Huston Smith. Smith asserts that the world's great religions have in common the wisdom regarding ethics and virtues which they offer to humanity.

The Value of Different Religious Traditions (03:28)

Bill Moyers questions religious studies scholar Huston Smith about the value of religious traditions which seem to be constantly at odds with each other. Smith responds to the question from the perspectives of various world religions.

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Part of the Series : The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith: A Bill Moyers Special
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Huston Smith discovered Islam as an adult, and became enamored with Islamic conceptions of order, justice, mercy, and compassion. He still prays five times a day as Muslims do. The Sufis opened the doors of Islam to Smith. Through their trance-inducing dances, these mystics bring God into the immediate moment. Smith and Bill Moyers discuss misconceptions about Islam held in the West today. (56 minutes)

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL6237

ISBN: 978-0-7365-5649-1

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

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