The Varieties of Religious Experience (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780199691647: The Varieties of Religious Experience (Oxford World's Classics)

The Varieties of Religious Experience is William James's classic survey of religious belief. With psychological insight and philosophical rigor, James wrote a truly foundational text for modern belief. Matthew Bradley's wide-ranging new edition--the most critically up-to-date and inclusive edition of James's masterpiece available in paperback--showcases ideas that continue to fuel modern debates on atheism and faith. His introduction stresses the book's significance in the relationship between religion and culture, discusses its ideas and their contemporary interest, and places the book within James's biographical, intellectual, and literary background. The explanatory notes identify key figures and contexts, and provide links with James's other work.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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"I am neither a theologian, nor a scholar learned in the history of religions, nor an anthropologist. Psychology is the only branch of learning in which I am particularly versed. To the psychologist the religious propensities of man must be at least as interesting as any other of the facts pertaining to his mental constitution. It would seem, therefore, as a psychologist, the natural thing for me would be to invite you to a descriptive survey of those religious propensities."

When William James went to the University of Edinburgh in 1901 to deliver a series of lectures on "natural religion," he defined religion as "the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine." Considering religion, then, not as it is defined by--or takes place in--the churches, but as it is felt in everyday life, he undertook a project that, upon completion, stands not only as one of the most important texts on psychology ever written, not only as a vitally serious contemplation of spirituality, but for many critics one of the best works of nonfiction written in the 20th century. Reading The Varieties of Religious Experience, it is easy to see why. Applying his analytic clarity to religious accounts from a variety of sources, James elaborates a pluralistic framework in which "the divine can mean no single quality, it must mean a group of qualities, by being champions of which in alternation, different men may all find worthy missions." It's an intellectual call for serious religious tolerance--indeed, respect--the vitality of which has not diminished through the subsequent decades.

From the Inside Flap:

"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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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. By their fruits ye shall know them, not by their roots. The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) is William James s classic survey of religious belief in its most personal, and often its most heterodox, aspects. Asking questions such as how we define evil to ourselves, the difference between a healthy and a divided mind, the value of saintly behaviour, and what animates and characterizes the mental landscape of sudden conversion, James s masterpiece stands at a unique moment in the relationship between belief and culture. Faith in institutional religion and dogmatic theology was fading away, and the search for an authentic religion rooted in personality and subjectivity was a project conducted as an urgent necessity. With psychological insight, philosophical rigour, and a determination not to jump to the conclusion that in tracing religion s mental causes we necessarily diminish its truth or value, in the Varieties James wrote a truly foundational text for modern belief. Matthew Bradley s wide-ranging new edition examines the ideas that continue to fuel modern debates on atheism and faith. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World s Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780199691647

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. By their fruits ye shall know them, not by their roots. The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) is William James s classic survey of religious belief in its most personal, and often its most heterodox, aspects. Asking questions such as how we define evil to ourselves, the difference between a healthy and a divided mind, the value of saintly behaviour, and what animates and characterizes the mental landscape of sudden conversion, James s masterpiece stands at a unique moment in the relationship between belief and culture. Faith in institutional religion and dogmatic theology was fading away, and the search for an authentic religion rooted in personality and subjectivity was a project conducted as an urgent necessity. With psychological insight, philosophical rigour, and a determination not to jump to the conclusion that in tracing religion s mental causes we necessarily diminish its truth or value, in the Varieties James wrote a truly foundational text for modern belief. Matthew Bradley s wide-ranging new edition examines the ideas that continue to fuel modern debates on atheism and faith. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World s Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780199691647

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