About the author
Huston Cummings Smith was born in Suzhou, China on May 31, 1919 to Methodist missionaries. He attended Central Methodist University and was ordained a Methodist minister. He soon realized that he would rather teach than preach. He received a Ph.D. in 1945 from the University of Chicago. He taught at several universities including the University of Denver, the Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Chicago Divinity School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley. He wrote numerous books during his lifetime including The Religions of Man (the textbook title was later changed to The World's Religions), Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals, and Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine. In 1955, he turned his popular college lectures into a series of programs on world religions for the National Educational Television network. In 1996, he was the focus of a five-part PBS series entitled The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith. He died on December 30, 2016 at the age of 97.