Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2002 - Religion - 415 pages
First published in 1902, The Varieties of Religious Experience initiated the psychological study of religion, paving the way for Freud and Jung as well as for clinical and paranormal branches of psychology. Written with humour and erudition, its theories of conversion, saintliness, ecstasy and mysticism continue to provoke controversy and inquiry. The book remains the best introduction to James's thought, demonstrating his characteristic insistence upon the importance of personal experience and his almost devotional respect for the mysteries of the human mind. Richly illustrated with personal accounts of belief and possession, intoxication and near-death experience, it is of central importance not simply to an understanding of religions, but to modern psychology and psychiatric medicine.
The Routledge Centenary Edition, entirely reset from the original 1902 edition, is prefaced with a specially commissioned foreword by the author's grandson, Micky James, and with new introductions from James specialists Eugene Taylor and Jeremy Carrette. It also includes a new and expanded index.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
7
CIRCUMSCRIPTION OF THE TOPIC
26
THE REALITY OF THE UNSEEN
46
THE RELIGION OF HEALTHYMINDEDNESS
66
THE SICK SOUL
103
THE DIVIDED SELF AND THE PROCESS OF ITS UNIFICATION
132
CONVERSION
150
CONVERSION Concluded
171
THE VALUE OF SAINTLINESS
255
MYSTICISM
294
PHILOSOPHY
333
OTHER CHARACTERISTICS
354
CONCLUSIONS
375
POSTSCRIPT
401
Index
407
Copyright

SAINTLINESS
203

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

William James (1842-1910), the brother of the novelist Henry James, was the founder of experimental psychology in America, and of the philosophy of pragmatism. The Varieties of Religious Experience is his best-known work.
Eugene Taylor of the Harvard Medical School is an internationally recognised expert on the life and work of William James, and is the author of William James on Consciousness beyond the Margin (Princeton, 1996) and William James on Exceptional Mental States (Scribner's, 1982).
Jeremy Carrette lectures on the psychology of religion at the University of Stirling, and is the author of Foucault and Religion (Routledge, 2000)

Bibliographic information