Death and Transformation
Huston Smith, world religions scholar and holder of twelve honorary degrees, speaks of facing death in this intimate interview captured on film in August of 2006.
In his advanced years, the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University, has remained, above all, a teacher. He is author of fourteen books including The World's Religions, which sold over more than two and a half million copies, and Why Religion Matters, which won the Wilbur Award for the best book on religion published in 2001.
Huston Smith attempts in Death and Transformation to answer the question: "What teachings from the great wisdom traditions sustain you at this very threshold of your own death?"
Smith describes in detail Hinduism's four life stages and guides viewers through the process of Buddha's enlightenment and death, focuses on the theme of forgiveness in Christianity as involved in the spiritual work of dying, and reveals how he "fell in love with Islam" through his study of the lives of contemporary Sufi saints.
There are personal insights as well, most poignantly, his description of the death of his daughter, who converted to Judaism and introduced him to the Kabalistic view of angels. Huston Smith, world renowned scholar, also shares his final life goal and the words he would love to see inscribed on his tombstone.