The Varieties of Religious Experience

William James

The Varieties of Religious Experience, by William James - click to see full size image

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The Varieties of Religious Experience is a seminal work by William James, a renowned philosopher and psychologist, first published in 1902. Taken from his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902, James explores the nature and significance of religious experience from a psychological and philosophical perspective. He argues that religious experiences are a fundamental aspect of human nature and that they cannot be reduced to mere superstition or delusion. To support his arguments, James examines a wide range of religious experiences, including mystical experiences, conversion experiences, and experiences of divine guidance. In addition to analysing specific religious experiences, he also explores the relationship between religion and morality, the role of religion in personal growth and development, and the question of whether religious beliefs can be justified by reason.

This book has 183,857 words, 262 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published 1901-1902.

Production notes: This ebook of The Varieties of Religious Experience was published by Global Grey in 2018, and updated on the 10th March 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Saint Teresa of Jesus' by Jusepe de Ribera.

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