This edition features • a linked Table of Contents
PREFACE LECTURE I RELIGION AND NEUROLOGY Introduction: the course is not anthropological, but deals with personal documents — Questions of fact and questions of value — In point of fact, the religious are often neurotic — Criticism of medical materialism,...
This edition features
• a linked Table of Contents
RELIGION AND NEUROLOGY
Introduction: the course is not anthropological, but deals with personal documents — Questions of fact and questions of value — In point of fact, the religious are often neurotic — Criticism of medical materialism, which condemns religion on that account — Theory that religion has a sexual origin refuted — All states of mind are neurally conditioned — Their significance must be tested not by their origin but by the value of their fruits — Three criteria of value; origin useless as a criterion — Advantages of the psychopathic temperament when a superior intellect goes with it — especially for the religious life.
CIRCUMSCRIPTION OF THE TOPIC
Futility of simple definitions of religion — No one specific “religious sentiment” — Institutional and personal religion — We confine ourselves to the personal branch — Definition of religion for the purpose of these lectures — Meaning of the term “divine” — The divine is what prompts SOLEMN reactions — Impossible to make our definitions sharp — We must study the more extreme cases — Two ways of accepting the universe — Religion is more enthusiastic than philosophy — Its characteristic is enthusiasm in solemn emotion — Its ability to overcome unhappiness — Need of such a faculty from the biological point of view.
THE REALITY OF THE UNSEEN
Percepts versus abstract concepts — Influence of the latter on belief — Kant’s theological Ideas — We have a sense of reality other than that given by the special senses — Examples of “sense of presence” — The feeling of unreality — Sense of a divine presence: examples — Mystical experiences: examples — Other cases of sense of God’s presence — Convincingness of unreasoned experience — Inferiority of rationalism in establishing belief — Either enthusiasm or solemnity may preponderate in the religious attitude of individuals.
LECTURES IV AND V
THE RELIGION OF HEALTHY — MINDEDNESS
Happiness is man’s chief concern — “Once-born” and “twice-born” characters — Walt Whitman — Mixed nature of Greek feeling — Systematic healthy-mindedness — Its reasonableness — Liberal Christianity shows it — Optimism as encouraged by Popular Science — The “Mind-cure” movement — Its creed — Cases — Its doctrine of evil — Its analogy to Lutheran theology — Salvation by relaxation — Its methods: suggestion — meditation — “recollection” — verification — Diversity of possible schemes of adaptation to the universe — APPENDIX: TWO mind-cure cases.
LECTURES VI AND VII
THE SICK SOUL
Healthy-mindedness and repentance — Essential pluralism of the healthy-minded philosophy — Morbid-mindedness: its two degrees — The pain-threshold varies in individuals — Insecurity of natural goods — Failure, or vain success of every life — Pessimism of all pure naturalism — Hopelessness of Greek and Roman view — Pathological unhappiness — “Anhedonia” — Querulous melancholy — Vital zest is a pure gift — Loss of it makes physical world look different — Tolstoy — Bunyan — Alline — Morbid fear — Such cases need a supernatural religion for relief — Antagonism of healthy-mindedness and morbidness — The problem of evil cannot be escaped.
THE DIVIDED SELF, AND THE PROCESS OF ITS UNIFICATION
Heterogeneous personality — Character gradually attains unity — Examples of divided self — The unity attained need not be religious — “Counter conversion” cases — Other cases — Gradual and sudden unification — Tolstoy’s recovery — Bunyan’s.
Case of Stephen Bradley — The psychology of character-changes — Emotional excitements make new centres of personal energy — Schematic ways of representing this — Starbuck likens conversion to normal moral ripening — Leuba’s ideas — Seemingly unconvertible persons — Two types of conversion — Subconscious incubation of motives — Self-surrender — Its importance in religious history — Cases.
"WILLIAM JAMES (1842 – 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James." -- Wikipedia