WC Smith: Religion

This page has been created to store resources associated with studying the work of Wilfred Cantwell Smith on Religion and Islam, focussing especially on his book titled The Meaning and End of Religion (google books page).

The Meaning and End of Religion – pdf available online, 1964 edition

Recommended “taste test”: I recommend that you read the first section (i) of the Introduction (Chapter 1), that is, from pages 6 to 9 of the pdf (or 7 to 10 of the printed pages). At 1,200 words or so, it’s not too much to read just for a try but it is enough for an assessment of whether you want to continue.

CONTENTS (from 1991 edition)
 
1 - Introduction                          1 - 14 pages
2 - 'Religion' in the West               15 - 36
3 - Other cultures. 'The Religions'      51 - 29
4 - The Special Case of Islam            80 - 39
5 - Is the Concept Adequate?            119 - 35
6 - The Cumulative Tradition            154 - 16
7 - Faith                               170 - 23
8 - Conclusion                          193 - 10

I will be proposing that we hold three discussions on this book:

  1. covering chapters 1 to 3 or first 80 pages
  2. focus on Islam: chapter 4, supplemented with reading of extra chapters from other books (here/here and here)
  3. covering remaining chapters 5 to 8, last 80 pages of the book

SPC meeting, April 1015: Wilfred Cantwell Smith: On Understanding Islam

Is the Qur’ān the Word of God? – available only to SPC members

Is the Qur’ān the Word of God? – available only to PS members

Can Religions be True or False? – pdf via Harvard

James C. Livingston: Religious pluralism and the question of religious truth in Wilfred C. Smith (a good brief summing up of the main ideas in Smith’s Faith and Belief)