Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Enchanting Life of a Religious Scholar: TALES OF WONDER by Huston Smith

TALES OF WONDER by Huston Smith

Huston Smith, author of the classic The World’s Religions, has had the talent of appearing in remarkable places at the most historic times. Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography, relates Smith’s experiences of historic turning points and intimate encounters with many of the people that shaped and defined the 20th-century. Smith vividly recalls his personal interactions with such iconic figures as Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Merton, Reinhold Niebuhr, Krishnamurti, John Kenneth Galbraith, Noam Chomsky, Robert Graves, Saul Bellow, Pete Seeger, and Bill Moyers. Having lived an amazing life, Huston Smith’s epic anecdotes serve as a travelogue, a popular history of a century of monumental changes, and an inspirational memoir to students.

Praise for Tales of Wonder:

“Poignant and readable, Smith recounts professional adventures—meeting Martin Luther King Jr., befriending Aldous Huxley and the Dalai Lama, dropping acid with Timothy Leary . . . this is what it feels like to have lived a long and interesting life.” —Newsweek

“In his lush new memoir, the religious scholar Smith dances among the whirling dervishes in Iran, camps with the Aborigines in Australia, shares a chuckle with a gaggle of Masai warriors on the darkening Serengeti plains. Each anecdote reveals Smith's sense of marvel at the strange bounty of the world.”Washington Post Book World

If you are interested in adopting this book for a class, you may order an exam copy. If you have already ordered this book for a class, please order a complimentary desk copy.

The video below features Huston Smith speaking about his autobiography Tales of Wonder:

1 comment:

  1. I've been teaching Huston Smith's The Illustrated World's Religions for years now. His text seems quite different from the other texts publishers send me. While the other texts seem to present religions as objects of study, Smith is less interested in presenting information ABOUT the religions and more interested in presenting them as opportunities for lived experience. Some of my students regret the loss of spectator status that happens if one follows Smith, but I think the majority accept my pitch that they thereby engage the religions at a much deeper level.