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The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature Paperback – Aug 20 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 548 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife (Aug. 20 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1113491272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1113491275
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 20 x 12.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 21 2009
Format: Paperback
This landmark work remains one of the most influential books ever on psychology and spirituality. The style is accessible and engaging, consistently interesting with well-reasoned arguments. Religions are not compared; the study is restricted to the experiences of the individual. The field of study is clearly defined and circumscribed. Chapter titles include Religion & Neurology, the Reality of the Unseen, the Religion of Healthy-Mindedness, the Sick Soul, the Divided Self & the Process of Unification, Conversion, Saintliness, Mysticism and Philosophy.

James considers the feelings, actions and experiences of individuals, insofar as they understand themselves to be in a relationship with whatever they consider the Divine. It is thus about the religion of everyday life and has nothing to do with churches and dogma. This is similar to what emerges when Geza Vermes explores the Authentic Gospel of Jesus; there's very little on doctrine but much about relationships and behavior towards others.

He mentions the importance of the passionate side of religion and its power of adding enchantment to life. Dealing objectively with a wide spectrum of observed and personally related religious experiences, James quotes from the autobiographical writings of famous authors, theologians and mystics from many traditions including Whitman, Luther, Voltaire, Emerson and Tolstoy.

In his own words: "Both thought and feeling are determinants of conduct, and the same conduct may be determined either by feeling or thought.
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