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RELIGION and world affairs

Rob Gaudet writes: "One preeminent writer has written an entire book calling for an end of the use of the term "religion" because of its inaccurate connotations which lead us away from actual experience of a religious nature. The book is The Meaning and End of Religion by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, a truly brilliant man and writer. The book was assigned reading in the M.St. in the Study of Religion at Oxford". RH: Born in 1916, and one of the most influential contributors to interfaith dialogue and the comparative study of religion, he died in 2000 in his native Toronto at 83. His work has had a profound impact worldwide, through his writing and teaching, and through the various academic programmes and departments he helped establish. He established an Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill, where he taught from 1949-63. He was involved in planning the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, and moved there in 1964 as its director. In 1973 he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia to establish the Department of Comparative Religion at Dalhousie University. He returned to Harvard in 1978 to oversee the development of a program in religion. After returning to his home town in 1985, he was appointed Senior Research Associate to the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College, University of Toronto.

Ronald Hilton - 5/4/03