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Varieties of Religious Experience
     

Varieties of Religious Experience

3.6 8
by William James
 

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This collection of 20 lectures was presented by William James at the 1901-1902 Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh. In these lectures, James explores individual relreligious experience as it varies among humans. James associates compreligious experience with the feelings and actions of individuals in a relationship with what they believe to be the Divine. James digs deep

Overview

This collection of 20 lectures was presented by William James at the 1901-1902 Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh. In these lectures, James explores individual relreligious experience as it varies among humans. James associates compreligious experience with the feelings and actions of individuals in a relationship with what they believe to be the Divine. James digs deep into the psychological underpinnings of religious experience; he is less concerned with studying religious institutions and theology. He discusses the origin, nature, and variation of religious experience and raises questions about its power. Some of his lectures focus on conversion, others on mysticism or virtue. His empirical study of human nature and individual religious experiences is remarkable complex, and yet his style of presentation is accessible to a wide variety of audiences. James' lectures come together to form the brilliant intertwining of religion, philosophy, and psychology.

Emmalon Davis
CCEL Staff Writer

This edition features an artistic cover, a new promotional introduction, an index of scripture references, links for scripture references to the appropriate passages, and a hierarchical table of contents which makes it possible to navigate to any part of the book with a minimum of page turns.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013051829
Publisher:
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Publication date:
08/25/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,236,989
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

William James - (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher
William James was born January 11, 1842, eldest son of a theologian. It was a distinguished intellectual family. James's younger brother was the novelist Henry James. The James children were educated somewhat haphazardly, as the family traveled between New York, Boulogne, France, and Geneva. William James was multi-lingual at an early age, and in his father's company he was exposed to many religious and philosophical thinkers.

James's approach to psychology was notably different from the prevailing theories of the time. He brought a more biological bent to psychology, insisting that thinking was part of an organism's survival apparatus. He wrote technical papers on dizziness in deaf-mutes and on the human experience of space and time. He created the first psychological laboratory in the United States, at Harvard, and enthusiastically supervised many student experiments. His background in medicine lent his psychology a much more empirical and physiological bent than it had had before, and he is credited with formulating the framework from which modern experimental psychology sprang.

In 1890 he published Principles of Psychology, an exhaustive two-volume work which organized and synthesized virtually all the extant research on psychology. James later condensed this into a one-volume textbook, which became quite popular.

James lost interest in psychology after his great success with it, and went on to write seminal works of American philosophy, Varieties of Religious Experience and Pragmatism. In the last years of his life, he was hailed as America's greatest philosopher. His philosophical works are still studied, whereas his writings and research on psychology now seem antiquated. Nevertheless, he made an enormous contribution to the growth of this new science. Much modern research is indebted in spirit to James, and for this he is remembered.

In 1910, William James died of heart failure at his summer home in New Hampshire.

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The Varieties of Religious Experience 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This work collects together religious experience from a wide diversity of cultures.It presents the remarkable personal transformations of a good share of mankind's most remarkable souls.One of them is James himself who recounts anonymously the story of his own depression and mental struggle.This book touches many areas of thought and study, psychology , philosophy, mystical perception, religious experience and thought .It does have its general conclusion in which James does try to summarize the twice - born experience, and the experience of one who has met God ( at least in their own perception ) and lived to tell the tale. James seems to feel that in terms of doctrinal conclusions most of the people somehow take out what they have already come in with, but in a new revived way. From the point of view of Jewish religious thought which is what I have most studied it seems to me there is a clear distinction between Jewish mystical religious encounter, and much other.And this because Jewish thinkers are very reluctant to argue that there has been a complete union with God but always tend to feel that God 's transcendent dimension remains supreme. In any case this is one of the great books of religious thought and cannot come more highly recommended.James writes very clearly with a real sense of the reader's need to understand what is being written about.My guess is that in this he worked very hard as he did in other aspects of his life to act in a way much different from that ethereal and somewhat confused and confusing Swedenborgian mystic, his father. Who reads this book not only reads a man, but reads much of what is in the religious soul and aspiration of Mankind.
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