Smith biographer at Old Professor's Bookshop

Aug 01, 2014
Dana Sawyer

Belfast — Dana Sawyer, professor of philosophy and religion at the Maine College of Art in Portland, will give a talk about and sign his new biography of Huston Smith Saturday, Aug. 9, at 2 p.m. at the Old Professor's Bookshop, 99 Main St.

“Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper: Living The World's Religions: The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant” explore the most renowned authority on world religions and comparative religion for the past half century. Professor Sawyer previously wrote a critically acclaimed biography of Aldous Huxley; in this new book, he tells the story of Huxley’s friend and student, Huston Smith, focusing on their mutual investigations into mystical experience and the roots of human spirituality. Sawyer has taught at MECA full-time for 26 years and is a native of Jonesport.

Smith’s many books include “The World’s Religions,” “Forgotten Truth,” “Beyond the Postmodern Mind” and “Why Religion Matters.” His career spanned more than 60 years, during which time he taught at Washington University, M.I.T., Syracuse University and the University of California at Berkeley, establishing himself as the most prominent scholar of religious studies in the world.  The Christian Science Monitor once referred to Smith as “religion’s rock star” and in 1996, Bill Moyer’s released a six-part series on PBS titled “The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith.”

Sawyer worked with Smith for seven years to produce this authorized biography, conducting interviews with Smith and more than 60 other who were prominent in his life. Smith spent his entire career helping shape the contemporary face of comparative religion, interfaith dialogue and spiritual inquiry, influencing such diverse writers as Karen Armstrong, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Ken Wilber, Andrew Harvey and the travel writer Pico Iyer. His many insights and adventures fill this compelling and edifying book, the story of a 21st-century spiritual giant.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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