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The Religions of Man

In 1955, the Religions of Man was the first college accredited course given on TV. It was broadcast on KETC in St. Louis and featured Dr. Huston Smith, associate professor of philosophy at Washington University. The course surveyed the great living religions of the world and how they influenced human history, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity (Protestant and Catholic) and Islam. Lectures trace the start of these religions, their founders and what each teaches as life’s meaning and the way to its fulfillment.

Born in China of missionary parents, Dr. Huston Smith has had first-hand acquaintance with the religions of both East and West. Dr. Smith’s graduate studies were completed at the University of California and the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD in 1945. He was president of the Missouri Philosophy Association and is the author of The Purpose of Higher Education, published in 1955 by Harper and Brothers. Dr. Smith taught at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado before joining the Washington University faculty. His course on The Religions of Man grew from 13 to 140 students in the first seven years he taught it. The 17 episodes that comprise this series were originally recorded on kinescope.


1. The Relevance of the Religious Man

2. Religion in the Hindu View of Life

3. The Four Yogas

4. Basic Concepts in Hinduism

5. Buddha's Life and Message

6. The Two Branches of Buddhism

7. Zen Buddhism

8. Confucianism

Us: Jon Monnday   jon@mondaymedia.org