Segments in this Video

Bill Moyers Introduces Huston Smith (05:38)


For more than 50 years religious studies pioneer Huston Smith has immersed himself in the world's great religions. What began as an intellectual exercise to compare the world's religions has become a lifelong spiritual quest for Smith.

God is Real (01:20)

Bill Moyers interviews religious studies scholar Huston Smith about his life's work and about his own spiritual philosophy. Smith asserts that he believes God is an objective reality.

God is Transcendent (03:12)

Since his childhood in China, religious studies scholar Huston Smith has had a firm belief in a transcendent God. Smith describes his views about God's transcendent nature.

Religious Ambiguity (04:22)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith asserts that life is religiously ambiguous. He embraces this ambiguity and finds that it forces individuals to wrestle with spiritual issues in order to discover their own truths.

Humans Seek Spiritual Understanding (02:41)

Religion expert Huston Smith confirms that religion has been a pervasive aspect of every human civilization. He asserts that humankind is somehow drawn to seek spiritual understanding.

Search for a Spiritual World (03:02)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith encourages his students to seek a world of value, meaning, and purpose. He compares the search for this spiritual world to the physicists' search for the quantum world.

Scientific Inquiry and Spiritual Inquiry (05:31)

Religious studies expert Huston Smith details the nature of scientific truth and of spiritual truth and he compares scientific inquiry with spiritual inquiry. He explains the futility of using the scientific method to prove or disprove God's existence.

The Plausibility of Religion (03:46)

Bill Moyers interviews religious studies scholar Huston Smith. Having acknowledged the futility of trying to prove or disprove God's existence, Smith refers to the world's enduring religions to assert the plausibility of religious truth.

An Imperfect World (04:18)

World religions expert Huston Smith asserts that the world's enduring religions agree creation originates from a perfect source. He explains how religions reconcile the fact that creation itself is not perfect.

Religious Faith, Experience, and Understanding (02:11)

Bill Moyers quotes St. Augustine in proposing that faith is essential for spiritual understanding. Religious studies scholar Huston Smith responds to this idea in sharing the genuine experiences he has had while exploring the world's religious traditions.

Teaching Spiritual Experience: Scholarship or Evangelism? (05:26)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith goes beyond the facts in teaching his students about the world's religions. Smith responds to critics who charge his emphasis on spiritual experiences makes him more an evangelist than a teacher.

Experiencing World Religions (01:48)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith has spent more than half a century immersing himself in the world's religious traditions. He shares the influence of those experiences on his personal beliefs.

Meaning and Purpose in the Modern World (02:50)

Bill Moyers interviews pioneering religious studies scholar Huston Smith. Smith addresses the difficulty, and the possibility, of finding meaning, purpose, and sacredness in today's world.

Life's Struggles and Spiritual Growth (01:23)

Comparative religion expert Huston Smith asserts that struggle is a necessary part of spiritual experience. He asserts that the world's religions point to happy endings that result from individual struggles to overcome life's difficulties.

Sexual Union and Divine Joy (02:19)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith has studied the world's religions for more than 50 years. He describes the bliss of sexual union conducted in the context of genuine love as a window into the affective experience of divine joy.

Genuine Religious Experience (02:20)

Religious studies scholar Huston Smith affirms the role of struggling with spiritual issues in the growth and evolution of his personal beliefs. He stresses the importance of valuing genuine religious experience over the intellectual pursuit of religion.

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A Personal Philosophy

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



This program summarizes and distills what we have learned about the great religions in this series. Smith’s lifetime of experience and study helps him to go beyond the differences between each tradition. He shows how the cultivation of virtues valued by all religions—intelligence, compassion, creativity, truth, beauty, and goodness—can lead to transcendence. In the many faces of God he has contemplated, Huston Smith sees no conflict. He believes them all to be windows on the same transcendent truths. All wisdom traditions ultimately make the same claim, that everything emanates from an absolute perfection. (56 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL6238

ISBN: 978-0-7365-5650-7

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

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