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The Varieties of Religious Experience A Study in Human Nature (Paperback)

Author:  William James
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Learn more about The Varieties of Religious Experience:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0980060540
ISBN-13: 9780980060546
Sku: 209720397
Publish Date: 9/29/2008
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.75H x 6L x 0.5T
Pages:  452
See more in Religion
The Varieties of Religious Experience came about as the result of William James''s legendary lecture series at The University of Edinburgh. It consisted of 20 Lectures, 2 courses of 10 lectures each. In this series, James examines in detail the nature of religion, expanding on pragmatism in the process. As part of the canon of modern philosophy and psychology, these lectures are both classic and relevant.
The persistence throughout history of intense religious experiences testifies to its importance in understanding human nature. In examining phenomena such as case histories of religious conversions, the lives of saints, the mystical experiences of "cosmic consciousness," and reincarnation, James makes a case for the existence of real power or powers external to particular consciousnesses. He argues that due to the incommensurable variety of these experiences, no specific meaning can be attached to them that could support any one established religion over any other.
Author Bio
William James
William James was the son of the theologian Henry James and the eldest of five children, including the novelist Henry James (Jr.) His family traveled frequently between the U.S. and Europe, a practice which William maintained throughout his life; the many friendships he cultivated oversees secured him an international reputation. After completing his liberal arts education, James was torn between a career as a painter or a scientist. He chose the latter, receiving an M.D. from Harvard in 1869, where he taught for 35 years in the departments of anatomy, physiology, philosophy, and psychology. Of his many accomplishments, James set up the first psychology laboratory in the U.S., helped organize the American Society for Psychical Research in 1884, and received numerous awards and honors. James's lifelong fascination with human nature and culture is evident in his work, which explores the ways in which the spheres of philosophy, science, and religion intersect. William James is considered one of the great American thinkers.


"The old cliche that Henry James wrote novels as though they were philosophical treatises whereas William James wrote philosophical treatises as though they were novels, while unfair to Henry, describes William, including the William James of 'Varieties of Religious Experience', very well. Believers and unbelievers (and semibelievers) will continue to find in it both a resource and a challenge. Quaint though some of it may seem at first in language and approach, 'The Varieties of Religious Experience' can itself become for the contemporary reader not only an intellectual exercise and an aesthetic treat but a religious experience." - Jaroslav Pelikan

New York Review of Books
"The 'Varieties' has probably been, over the years, James's most popular book, read even after his functionalist psychology was superseded by behaviorism and when his pragmatist philosophy was in eclipse. It is composed primarily of case histories, collected from all around the world and organized by category....[I]t looks, it in other words, like a psychology textbook, and that is because it is a psychology textbook. The 'Varieties' is not a study of religion; it is, as the subtitle states, 'a study in human nature.'" - Louis Menand 12/17/1998

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0452
Product attributePublisher:   Megalodon Entertainment LLC.
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