This seminar focuses on the basic teachings several of the world’s major religions—
Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Basic texts of these religions
will be analyzed as well as the theological and ethical beliefs in their respective scriptures.
We will also examine how these religions today are addressing some contemporary
global issues, such as the deteriorating environment, justice for the poor, gender equality,
violence and respect for members of the LGBTQ community.
Brian H. Smith is emeritus professor of religion at Ripon College, where he held the Charles and
Joan Van Zoeren Chair in Religion, Ethics and Values from 1987 until his retirement in May 2020.
His advanced degrees are in political science (Ph.D. Yale, 1979), religion (Master of Divinity,
Woodstock College, 1970) and ethics (Master’s in Sacred Theology [STM], Union Theological Seminary,
1971). He has done research in Latin America, including Chile and Colombia, on religion and politics and
the role of nongovernmental organizations in socioeconomic development. He has taught briefly at
Fordham University and Georgetown University, and for seven years in the political science department
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980–1987). He was a member of the Jesuit Order in the Catholic Church for 21 years and served as a priest for nine years, including one year in Chile during military rule in 1975.
Recommended Reading: Huston Smith, The World’s Religions. Harper One Paperback,
second edition, 2009.
ISBN # 978-0-06-166018-4
$12.99 (new), $8.14 (used) Amazon Prime