Ninian Smart is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has given the Gifford Lectures and is author of several books including The Long Search, The Religious Experience of Mankind, and Beyond Ideology.
On this basis he builds a theory of religious dynamics which gives religious ideas and entities an autonomous place in the sociology of knowledge. His overall purpose is thus "to indicate ways forward in the study of religion which free it from being crypto-apologetics or elevating poetry."
Originally published in 1973.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
In this revised and expanded second edition, a team of distinguished scholars, assembled by the editor Oliver Leaman, have brought Ninian Smart’s masterpiece up to date for the twenty-first century. Chapters have been revised by experts in the field to include recent philosophical developments, and the book includes a new bibliographic guide to resources in world philosophies. A brand new introduction which celebrates the career and writings of Ninian Smart, and his contribution to the study of world religions, helps set the work in context.