Kay's Reviews > Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief

Why Religion Matters by Huston Smith
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's review
Jul 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites
Recommended to Kay by: Toyce Collins
Recommended for: People who are interested in examining the world views of the 20th century
Read from August 12 to 23, 2011 — I own a copy

As I was reading Why Religion Matters I thought about The Case for God by Karen Armstrong. To me both authors make a strong case that God is not dead. While Karen Armstrong refers to mostly Judeo-Christian religious artifacts and texts in history to make her case, Huston Smith tackles the issue of "Big Picture" mostly by referring to the works of various thinkers, philosophers, and scientists throughout western history.

The tone of writing in Why Religion Matters may seem abrasive and dense. However, considering the dominant presence of "scientism" and "disbelief" in 2001, the year of its publication, it's understandable since Huston Smith also seems charged by his passion for the subject matter. On the other hand I recall that The Case for God was very readable in a somewhat detached scholarly tone. It was published in 2009.

Despite these differences I find these two books equally valuable because they provide different tools and resources for me to better understand the issue of spirituality in the context of other human issues as well as in the context of human history. Why Religion Matters in particular has opened a door to roomful of books by philosophers and scientists that I now want to read.
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