The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature
"The Varieties of Religious Experienceis certainly the most notable of all books in the field of the psychology of religion and probably destined to be the most influential [one] written on religion in the twentieth century," said Walter Houston Clark inPsychology Today. The book was an immediate bestseller upon its publication in June 1902. Reflecting the pluralistic views of psychologist-turned-philosopher William James, it posits that individual religious experiences, rather than the tenets of organized religions, form the backbone of religious life. James's discussion of conversion, repentance, mysticism, and hope of reward and fears of punishment in the hereafter--as well as his observations on the religious experiences of such diverse thinkers as Voltaire, Whitman, Emerson, Luther, Tolstoy, and others--all support his thesis. "James's characteristic humor, his ability to put down the pretentious and to be unpretentious, and his willingness to take some risks in his choices of ancedotal data or provocative theories are all apparent in the book," noted Professor Martin E. Marty. "A reader will come away with more reasons to raise new questions than to feel that old ones have been resolved."
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Review: The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human NatureUser Review - Wing Cheung - Goodreads
William James makes a very valid case that the primacy of private experiences of the divine render philosophic and theological deliberations subservient to them. He does so by a litany of anecdotes ... Read full review
Review: The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human NatureUser Review - Goodreads
This was an endeavor, as I rarely read nonfiction that isn't architecture or art-related. Also, that it's simply a series of lectures from over 100 years ago. Still it was quite personal, and I think ... Read full review