The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

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Overview

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature by William James

Paving the way for all modern spiritual thought, The Varieties of Religious Experience was revolutionary in its view of religious life as centered not within the Church, but solely within the person. James, a vivid, subtle stylist writing for the skeptical, nonspecialist reader, was the first to define spirituality as "the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude." In this edition, scholars Taylor and Carrette bring a new understanding to James's life and his determination, in the cold, scientific face of the Industrial Revolution, to reaffirm the power of individual belief.

One hundred years after its publication James's work remains even more vital than before. Beyond its influence on the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, beyond its influence on launching the American pastoral counseling movement, and beyond its role in spawning the psychology of religion, it remains a book that empowers individuals and inspires readers with erudition, insight, and kindness. No discussion of current religion - from the fundamentalist revival to the New Age movement - is complete without an appreciation of this groundbreaking work.

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: 400,590
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(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).

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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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