The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1901 and 1902. The lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science in the academic study of religion.

Preface.

This book would never have been written had I not been honored with an appointment as Gifford Lec...

Lecture I. Religion And Neurology.

It is with no small amount of trepidation that I take my place behind this desk, and face this le...

Lecture II. Circumscription of the Topic.

Most books on the philosophy of religion try to begin with a precise definition of what its essen...

Lecture III. The Reality Of The Unseen.

Were one asked to characterize the life of religion in the broadest and most general terms possib...

Lectures IV and V. The Religion Of Healthy-Mindedness.

If we were to ask the question: “What is human life's chief concern?” one of the answers we shoul...

Lectures VI And VII. The Sick Soul.

At our last meeting, we considered the healthy-minded temperament, the temperament which has a co...

Lecture VIII. The Divided Self, And The Process Of Its Unification.

The last lecture was a painful one, dealing as it did with evil as a pervasive element of the wor...

Lecture IX. Conversion.

To be converted, to be regenerated, to receive grace, to experience religion, to gain an assuranc...

Lecture X. Conversion—Concluded.

In this lecture we have to finish the subject of Conversion, considering at first those striking ...

Lectures XI, XII, And XIII. Saintliness.

The last lecture left us in a state of expectancy. What may the practical fruits for life have be...

Lectures XIV And XV. The Value Of Saintliness.

We have now passed in review the more important of the phenomena which are regarded as fruits of ...

Lectures XVI And XVII. Mysticism.

Over and over again in these lectures I have raised points and left them open and unfinished unti...

Lecture XVIII. Philosophy.

The subject of Saintliness left us face to face with the question, Is the sense of divine presenc...

Lecture XIX. Other Characteristics.

We have wound our way back, after our excursion through mysticism and philosophy, to where we wer...

Lecture XX. Conclusions.

The material of our study of human nature is now spread before us; and in this parting hour, set ...

Postscript.

In writing my concluding lecture I had to aim so much at simplification that I fear that my gener...

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