Religions of Man
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.