Audiobooks Why Religion MattersAuthor Huston Smith –

Like Huston Smith, I, too, am a scholar of religion, and because I had read many of Prof Smith s works, and because I saw him give an interesting talk about this book on YouTube entitled Huston Smith, Why Religion Matters The Future of Faith, I was intrigued by the subject matter and wanted to read it However, the argument he made in his book is at least in my view very different from the argument he made in the lecture I had watched In the YouTube lecture he genuinely made a case for the religious and or spiritual worldview generally.By contrast, in his book, he did not merely make the case for religiosity and spirituality as such, but rather, for MONOTHEISM, and in particular, Abrahamic monotheism that is to say, the monotheism of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Unlike in most of his other books, which judge every religion on their own merits, it seems like Huston Smith, in Why Religion Matters, seems to be bending over backwards to prove that every religion can somehow be shoehorned into the spot occupied by monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam in particular Not only did he make a case for monotheism, but at least it seemed to me, anyway for monotheism s universality and for what I regard as the ridiculous notion that all religions are supposedly monotheistic at their core This, by the way, is why a far better title for this book should have been Why Monotheism Matters Why All Religions Ultimately Believe In One God, or possibly Why Monotheism Matters The Case for the Universality of the Abrahamic Concept of God As Taught in the Bible and the Quran, or possibly Why Monotheism Matters The Case for the Universality of the Judeo Christian and Islamic Concept of God Those would have been much honest titles for this book because that is essentially the case he is making, NOT the case for religiosity or spirituality generally which is what I thought he would be doing.This argument is objectively ridiculous, especially if one looks at how Mr Smith explains religious diversity in Bill Moyers excellent series, Wisdom of Faith If one looks at the religions of India, only one of them Sikhism is monotheistic There is also a diversity of opinion amongst Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains as to how many gods there are and the religions of China Confucianism, Taoism, Mencism a religio philosophical system similar to Confucianism developed by the sage Meng Tzu Mencius along with Buddhism, ancestor worship, and presumably nowadays secular Communist values as well, are often melded together in Chinese culture into one cohesive set of Chinese cultural values known as the Ta Cha literally Great Church , comprising a collection of cultural values that are not considered as being merely Confucian, Taoist, Mencian, Buddhist, or related to ancestor worship, but which are part of Chinese society generally, and the extent to which each of these different influences influence a particular individual depends on that person s worldview I feel this way because I, personally, consider myself to be a pantheist polytheist because I worship all gods of all religions I will say, however, that I did agree with his criticism of what he and the philosopher Susan Haack call Scientism that is to say, the worldview that argues that science is the only source of truth and the only source for answers to life s questions I DO agree with him that Scientism has, indeed, become far too pervasive in our society He IS right in that regard.In some ways, his argument contradicts that which he had made in his book, Religions of the world and in his documentary series, Wisdom of Faith, in which he argues for the legitimacy of ALL religious worldviews Huston Smith s argument in this book represents the antithesis of the equally illogical argument put forward by another religion scholar, Stephen Prothero, in his book, God Is Not One In God Is Not One, Prothero makes the equally ridiculous case that all of the world s religions are so different that they don t have anything in common at all while Huston Smith argues that all religions, by their very nature, are monotheistic or at the very least, henotheistic Both arguments are objectively hogwash On one level, I reject Prothero s contention that none of the world s religions have anything in common, but I also reject Smith s argument that monotheism is supposedly universal He also seems to make the case for a transcendent god not considering the fact that many religions such as many interpretations of Hinduism, for instance are both polytheistic and pantheistic and argue that the divine inhabits all things in the form of an all encompassing Universal Self called Brahman, and that, therefore, everything literally is God.All in all, this book was interesting to read from a philosophical perspective, but I only think that this book only appeal to Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other monotheists, as well as possibly students of religious philosophy who do not necessarily have any particular religious allegiances. The world renowned scholar of religion shares his passionate insights into the future role of religion in human affairs as he explores the challenges confronting the human spirit in the modern world By the author of The World s Religions , first printing Houston Smith sheds a refreshing alternative perspective of religion in comparison to science He explains how the ever changing world has marginalised religion and its teachings The new religion houston talks about is Scienctivism, this is the somatic paradigm litrally sweeping over the globalised world.He says society has become materialistic in its underlying structures, where everbody wants to see to believe He uses a great metaphor for his explanation of this world which is like a tunnel This book is fantastic and i highly recommend it to readers to widen there scope on life, he teaches us to break the boundries of alienation that we so badley need especially in current times. Not just a pro Christian book, but a pro religion book You ll see a rational reason why Faith, and responsibility to a supreme being and respect for fellow humans is foundational to a civilized society A bumper sticker says stupidity should be painful , religion says it will be, now or later or maybe both. It arrived in great condition, Thanks I found this book hard work Perhaps it is best suited to acedemics who might appreciate the fine points of his arguements I found it too wordy and rambling There are some informative sections but overall I often struggled to find what point he was trying to make it was not succinct enough for me.