The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140390346
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1982
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 664,877
Product dimensions: 5.07(w) x 7.72(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

William James (1842–1910), brother of writer Henry James, was born in New York and studied medicine at Harvard, where he taught from 1872; James continued on to write books and become one of the most renowned psychologist-philosophers in the Western world. His other famous works include Principles of Psychology (1890) and Pragmatism (1907).

Table of Contents

Introduction by Martin E. Marty
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text The Varieties of Religious Experience

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The Varieties of Religious Experience 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 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.
timbrown5 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
James asks: "Who know whether the faithfulness of individuals here below to their poor over-beliefs may not actually help God in turn be more effectively faithful to his own greater tasks?"James asserts the need for psychology to study individual spiritual experiences. This being a legitimate and often fruitful occurrence with practical effects. He gives account of many individuals and their stories, and studies the thread recurring in many of them, the core being love of God and others, the feeling of relief and all will be alright as taken care of by something greater than oneself.
judyfederick on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The basis of any understanding I might have of comparative religion.
pickwick817 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
James describes the phenomena of many different kinds of religious experineces in this book. It is a very analytical look at an emotional / spiritual subject. He appears to keep objective throughout, but we all know in the end that is immpossible. It was more objective than I think I could ever be. Again, another book on philosophy that while good, I found incomplete. Some day I am going to begin to write my own thoughts so that I will have a book to read that at least attempts to cover everything I'm looking for.
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