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The Religions of Man

In 1955, a small miracle occurred in St. Louis when an affable and enthusiastic young professor from Washington University offered a landmark series of talks on the World's Religions at KETC television, and broadcast nationally on National Educational Television - NET.  Huston Smith, whom the Christian Science Monitor would later call "Religion's Rock Star," opened the minds of Americans, using public television to reveal exactly why members of the various religions found their faith traditions compelling.  Even now, more than sixty years later, Smith's descriptions of the various faiths are entirely relevant and compelling -  a refreshing tonic for a troubled world.  And now these films are once again available!

                         Dana Sawyer, Huston Smith Biographer

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.

Introduction    Hinduism    Buddhism    Confucianism & Taoism  
Islam    Judaism    Christianity    Conclusion

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

Confucianism & Taoism

8. Confucianism

9. Taoism


10. Mohammad and His Message

11. The Social Teachings of Islam


12. Judaism Part 1 The Chosen People

13. Judaism Part 2 The Law


Christianity Part 1 Jesus the Anointed

Christianity Part 2 The Good News

Christianity Part 3 The Vine and the Branches

A Final Examination

Us: Jon Monnday   jon@mondaymedia.org