|Doshi Bridgebuilder Awards|
Huston Smith to receive Doshi Bridgebuilder Award
By Brigette Scobas on November 4, 2010 (Go to original)
He is 91 years old. He is a world-renowned scholar of comparative religions. And now, he is the fifth recipient of the Doshi Bridgebuilder Award. Dr. Huston Smith will be receiving the Doshi Bridgebuilder Award on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. in Ahmanson Auditorium, and students, faculty and community members are all welcome and encouraged to attend this event, hosted by the department of theological studies. A cash award will be presented to Smith as well.
According to Christopher Chapple, Doshi professor of Indic and comparative theology and chair of the committee that selects the awardee and individual presenting the award, claimed that candidates are “chosen from a field of nominees who are highly accomplished in the work of interculturalism and interdisciplinarity.”
Smith, according to Amir Hussain professor of theological studies, is “one of the greatest scholars of comparative religions in the United States, and someone who has been doing serious work in the area for over 50 years.” He was chosen this year to receive the Doshi Bridgebuilder Award because, “he’s done so much to foster an understanding of world’s religions,” said Hussain.
According to Chapple, Smith was born to missionary parents in China and has taught at various universities, including Berkeley, Syracuse and MIT. “A dedicated practitioner of yoga and meditation, as well as a lifelong Methodist, Huston Smith embodies the best cross-cultural understanding and bridge-building,” said Chapple.
This will be the fifth consecutive year that this award will be given out. According to Hussain, it was awarded to Dr. Deepak Chopra, Maestro Zubin Mehta, Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh and Greg Mortenson in the past. The Doshi Bridgebuilder Award was founded by donors Navin and Pratima Doshi. According to Chapple, Navin and Pratima, “are dedicated to the ideals of intercultural education and have endowed this award to be given annually.”
Smith is the author of many widely known and popularly used texts. Hussain uses Smith’s text, “The World Religions,” in his class and also incorporates videos of him into his lectures. According to Chapple, that book was published in 1958 and has sold nearly three million copies and has been reprinted more than 60 times. “This book introduced many people to the world’s great religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity [and] the religions of the native peoples,” said Chapple. Smith has published more than 10 books, according to Chapple, including “Tales of Wonder,” which “recounts his encounters with Aldous Huxley, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Dalai Lama.”
“Huston Smith is one of the giants of the study of the world’s religions [and] he has spent his life studying and learning about them, and teaching all of us,” said Hussain.
“Huston Smith inspires a confidence that the people of the world can learn to live with one another in peace,” said Chapple.
According to Chapple, introductions will be given by President Burcham, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts [BCLA] Associate Dean Cheryl Grills, himself and Navin Doshi. Then Smith will present a lecture on “Bridges,” followed by a reception.
“The lecture will discuss the interrelationship between cultures and religions from the perspective of a philosopher, historian and theologian who has been involved with world issues for nearly a century,” said Chapple.
“You will receive the long-view perspective on world religions, as well as wisdom and insight,” said Chapple about what to expect from Smith’s talk.