The Varieties of Religious Experience

The Varieties of Religious Experience : A Study in Human Nature

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Standing at the crossroads of psychology and religion, this catalyzing work applied the scientific method to a field abounding in abstract theory. William James believed that individual religious experiences, rather than the precepts of organized religions, were the backbone of the world's religious life. His discussions of conversion, repentance, mysticism and saintliness, and his observations on actual, personal religious experiences - all support this thesis. In his introduction, Martin E. Marty discusses how James's pluralistic view of religion led to his remarkable tolerance of extreme forms of religious behaviour, his challenging, highly original theories, and his welcome lack of pretension in all of his observations on the individual and the divine.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 15mm | 407g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 0140390340
  • 9780140390346
  • 56,076

Back cover copy

'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.'- Walter Houston Clark in Psychology Today
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Table of contents

Introduction by Martin E. Marty
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text The Varieties of Religious Experience
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About William James

Older brother of novelist Henry James, William James (1842-1910) was a philosopher, psychologist, physiologist, and professor at Harvard. James has influenced such twentieth-century thinkers as Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermans, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva.
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Rating details

11,805 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 39% (4,594)
4 34% (3,962)
3 18% (2,147)
2 6% (674)
1 4% (428)
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