The Varieties of Religious Experience  -     By: William James
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The Varieties of Religious Experience

Simon & Schuster / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

"The Varieties of Religious Experience is 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 in Psychology 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."

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0743257871
ISBN-13: 9780743257879
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Considered one of the great intellectual achievements of the twentieth century, James’s influential book seeks to shift the emphasis in the study of religion and psychology from the dogmas and external forms of religion to the unique mental states associated with it.

This notable and influential study of the psychology of religion asserts that instead of the tenants of organized religion, we should look to the individual religious experiences as the foundations of religious life. As such, James makes his case with the religious accounts of various well-known thinkers throughout history, applying an analytic clarity to their stories and developing a pluralistic framework that defines the divine as a group of, rather than one single, qualities. The Varieties of Religious Experience presents readers with an intellectual, rather than emotional, call for both religious tolerance and respect.

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