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Huston Smith
photographer unknown
Huston Smith
photographer unknown
Erowid Character Vaults
Huston Smith
Huston Smith is a religious scholar who has dedicated his life to studying mysticism and religion. Smith was born in Soochow China to missionary parents and lived there until he was 17. In 1945, Smith receiving his doctorate from the University of Chicago.

In 1962, Smith participated in the Marsh Chapel psilocybin experiment led by Walter Pahnke. He also participated in LSD studies at Harvard with Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary

After serving briefly as a pastor in the Midwest, Smith has taught religion and philosophy at MIT, Syracuse University, Washington University, and the University of California Berkeley. His book The World's Religions has sold millions of copies and has been a widely used textbook for religion courses. In 1996, Bill Moyers devoted a five-part PBS special, The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith, to his life and work. He is considered one of the most accessible modern authors and an authority on comparative religion, mysticism, and spiritual philosophy.

Jan 1, 2016: After hearing of Huston's death, we wanted to add a short personal note to this vault: Huston Smith was a career religious scholar and had strong opinions about the intersection of spirituality and psychedelics/entheogens. Fire and Earth Erowid met Huston in conjunction with helping edit and produce his book Cleasing the Doors of Perception in 1998 through the Council on Spiritual Practices. We helped with getting the special edition printed through Stamperia Valdonega, and lovingly asssembled drafts of the book chapters using the finest paper and binders we could find to demonstrate CSP's commitment to quality and attention to detail. We also met him at other CSP-related activities.
Author of (Articles)
  • The Fate of the Human Spirit [excert]
  • Do Drugs Have Religious Import? (1964)