The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

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Penguin, Jan 1, 1982 - Religion - 534 pages
"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".
 

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Contents

RELIGION AND NEUROLOGY
1
CIRCUMSCRIPTION OF THE TOPIC
26
THE REALITY OF THE UNSEEN
53
THE RELIGION OP HEALTHYMINDEDNESS
78
THE SICK SOUL
127
THE DIVIDED SELF AND THE PROCESS OF ITS UNIFICATION
166
CONVERSION
189
CONVERSION Concluded
217
THE VALUE OF SAINTLINESS
326
MYSTICISM
379
PHILOSOPHY
430
OTHER CHARACTERISTICS
458
CONCLUSIONS
485
POSTSCRIPT
520
INDEX
529
Copyright

SAINTLINESS
259

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About the author (1982)

Older brother of novelist Henry James, William James (1842-1910) was a philosopher, psychologist, physiologist, and professor at Harvard. James has influenced such twentieth-century thinkers as Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermans, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva.


Martin Marty, one of today's most respected theologians, is professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, where the Martin Marty Center has been founded to promote public religion endeavors. His more than fifty books include Modern American Religion. He is a winner of the National Book Award and was the first religion scholar to receive the National Humanities Medal.


Martin Marty, one of today's most respected theologians, is professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, where the Martin Marty Center has been founded to promote public religion endeavors. His more than fifty books include Modern American Religion. He is a winner of the National Book Award and was the first religion scholar to receive the National Humanities Medal.

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