Contemporary Varieties of Religious Experience: James's Classic Study in Light of Resiliency, Temperament, and Trauma

Overview

First published in 1902, William James's Varieties of Religious Experience is considered a classic in religious studies and the psychology of religion. But how has James's classic study weathered decades of development in psychology and behavioral sciences? Do the assertions about religious experience in the Varieties still ring true in light of neuro-cognitive and neuro-hormonal research, resiliency studies, studies of temperament, and traumatic studies? By extending William James's own research throughout the ...

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Contemporary Varieties of Religious Experience: James's Classic Study in Light of Resiliency, Temperament, and Trauma

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Overview

First published in 1902, William James's Varieties of Religious Experience is considered a classic in religious studies and the psychology of religion. But how has James's classic study weathered decades of development in psychology and behavioral sciences? Do the assertions about religious experience in the Varieties still ring true in light of neuro-cognitive and neuro-hormonal research, resiliency studies, studies of temperament, and traumatic studies? By extending William James's own research throughout the century since its publication this volume seeks to answer those questions. In doing so, it revolutionizes our understanding of James's own view of psychology and reveals the extraordinary value of James's perspective for religion, psychology, and spirituality today. In doing so, it offers vital insights for pastoral care and faith development at both the individual and congregational level. From the Introduction by James Fowler: Drawing on the authenticity of her own experience, Bridgers carries us into a remarkably clear and well documented account that traces William James's evolution as a psychologist, philosopher, and a deeply engaged inquirer into the dynamics of spiritual development and transformation... This book has a major contribution to make. Bridgers's study illumines the horizons of contemporary research in the study of religious experience, in all its varieties, and in the context of globalization.

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Editorial Reviews

John Snarey
In Contemporary Varieties of Religious Experience, Lynn Bridgers's agile mind wields the conceptual tools of psychology, theology, and history to make original connections and draw gifted insights, while avoiding easy reductionism. Contemporary Varieties is a clear standout in the area of recent scholarship on William James and religion.
Mary Elizabeth Moore
Lynn Bridgers's expose on conversion is exquisite - a thoroughly researched and beautifully written contribution to the psychology of religious experience and practical theology. In these pages, readers will discover the rich textures of diverse religious forms - especially the prophetic, monastic, and mystical. Her book will surely be as influential as it is impressive.
Rodney J. Hunter
Anyone who loves William James' s Varieties of Religious Experience will be grateful to Lynn Bridgers for this well researched, well argued book affirming James's basic theses and continuing relevance. Contemporary Varieties of Religious Experience marshals a wealth of current research data, makes an important contribution to the psychology of religion, and is an altogether fascinating and informative read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742544314
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Bridgers is assistant professor of pastoral ministries and religious education at St. Thomas University in Miami.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Evolution of a Pluralist Chapter 3 James's Conversion Typology Chapter 4 Prophets Chapter 5 Monks Chapter 6 Mystics Chapter 7 Between Me and My God

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