Chapter

Huston Smith

Arthur J. Magida

in Opening the Doors of Wonder

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245457
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520245457.003.0006
Huston Smith

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This chapter tries to chart the degree of religiosity at which saturation creeps in and has attritions effects. Quite paradoxically, the subject of inquiry, Huston Smith, an erstwhile practitioner of all religions, literally, and a consequential religious scholar, does not display any trace of exhaustion after reaching an objective point of saturation—he has meditated with Zen masters in Japan, prayed with Buddhist monks in Burma, danced with Sufi dervishes in Iran, practiced tai chi with Taoist masters in China, observed Shabbat with his daughter and her Jewish husband, and taken peyote with Indians in Mexico and psychedelics with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert. Smith's rigor has been voluntary and without any traces of spiritual adventurism, and his quest is justified by its purity. His mettle is evident in the balance he strikes by avoiding the customary lopsided comparison between eastern and western faiths, mostly bludgeoning the western variant.

Keywords: religiosity; Huston Smith; psychedelics; spiritual adventurism; purity; religious scholar

Chapter.  2703 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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