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The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

William James
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Kurzbeschreibung

11. Mai 1999 Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

The Varieties of Religious Experience 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, Emerson, Luther, and others—all support his thesis. Walter Houston Clark in Psychology Today deemed it “the most notable of all books in the field of the psychology of religion.”

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 640 Seiten
  • Verlag: Modern Library; Auflage: New edition (11. Mai 1999)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0679640118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679640110
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,4 x 13,3 x 3,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.6 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (10 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.511.588 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

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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. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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One of the seminal works of philosophy and theology. Catholic Herald -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
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It is with no small amount of trepidation that I take my place behind this desk, and face this learned audience. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Classic Wisdom Text 8. Dezember 2002
Format:Taschenbuch
It has been said that Henry James wrote his novels as philosophical treatises while his brother William wrote his philosophical works as novels. This 1902 publication is justifiably considered as one of the 20th century's most influential books on psychology and spirituality.
James considers the feelings, actions and experiences of individuals, insofar as they understand themselves to be in a relationship with whatever they consuider the divine. It is thus about the religion of everyday life and has nothing to do with churches and dogma.
He writes objectively about a wide spectrum of religious experiences and quotes from the autobiographical writings of famous mystics from many traditions and of people like Whitman, Luther, Voltaire, Emerson, Tolstoy and many others. No religions are compared, only the experiences of the individual, and his arguments are well-reasoned.
In his own words: "Both thought and feeling are determinants of conduct, and the same conduct may be determined either by feeling or thought. When we survey the whole field of religion, we find a great variety in the thoughts that have prevailed there; but the feelings on the one hand and the conduct on the other are almost always the same, for Stoic, Christian and Buddhist saints are practically indistinguishable in their lives. The theories which religion generates, being thus variable, are secondary. If you wish to grasp its essence, you must look to the feelings and the conduct as being the more constant elements."
This book is a treasure trove of insights and collected wisdom that simultaneously serves as a trenchant plea for religious tolerance. And yes, it does sometimes read like a gripping novel, especially the chapters on the religion of healthy-mindedness, the sick soul, and mysticism.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Great Book by a Great Man 19. Mai 2000
Von C. Sahu
Format:Taschenbuch
The previous reviews are very good descriptions of this book. I'd like to reiterate that it helps while reading to remember that this is primarily a study of many case histories of very personal and profound experiences with God. They are mostly in the form of excerpts from autobiographies and memoirs, mainly Christian and contemporary (the book was published in 1903), but many also from other times and faiths. There is no addressing the pros and cons of organized religion here, or, for that matter, of questions like whether miracles really happen, etc.
This book is a microcosm, though. James touches on so many matters of religion and, indeed, life and philosophy overall that the book makes valuable reading for anyone interested in humans generally.
He talks, of necessity, quite a bit about the subconscious, which had just recently been "invented," showing that profound religious experiences comes from there, though that doesn't mean that they're not of divine origin: perhaps it's our subconscious self that connects to God.
James then analyzes these experiences from the pragmatic point of view of, Are these experiences healthy? What are their "fruits"?
But there are no ultimate "Answers" of the kind you find suggested in other works of philosophy or theology. Despite some heady speculation towards the end, James sticks to the facts, and never expects his audience to accept anything unproven.
Especially interesting, I thought, were the descriptions of "conversion," a two-fold experience consisting of spiritual crisis and of release from that crisis and the reaching of a profound state of surety and, usually, happiness.
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Format:Taschenbuch
This 1902 publication still takes pride of place as a landmark study and 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.

James considers the feelings, actions and experiences of people insofar as they understand themselves to be in a relationship with whatever they consider the Divine. It has nothing to do with churches, doctrine or dogma, concerning itself only with the religious experiences of everyday life.

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

The terrain of study is clearly identified 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.

In his own words: "Both thought and feeling are determinants of conduct, and the same conduct may be determined either by feeling or thought. When we survey the whole field of religion, we find a great variety in the thoughts that have prevailed there; but the feelings on the one hand and the conduct on the other are almost always the same, for Stoic, Christian and Buddhist saints are practically indistinguishable in their lives.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic study of personal religious experience
Coming from an essentially secular upbringing, I thought religion was something I should learn about as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 15. März 2007 von Kim Boykin
5.0 von 5 Sternen rich with spiritual experiences....
A topnotch compilation, written in James's clear and humorous prose, of the unusual spiritual encounters he collected from many different people over a period of years. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 16. Mai 2000 von Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA
1.0 von 5 Sternen Tedious
Sorry to throw off the curve... but this book is long-winded and short on useful ideas. I say 'long-winded' because nearly half of the text consists of citations, most of which... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 22. April 2000 von "tksc"
5.0 von 5 Sternen a serious and beautiful and comprehensive study.
William James's approach to the varieties of religious experience shows such an incredible understanding and willingness to believe. And compassion. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 22. Februar 2000 von jo swartz
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant; Actually, Beyond Brilliant
I am always surprised when I am cruising around Amazon and take a look at a classic and find just 1 or 2 customer comments on a book such as James's masterful... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 31. Januar 2000 von Ben Kilpela
5.0 von 5 Sternen here's where the new age starts: back in 1904
For years, I have seen this book referenced by other authors and was curious to read the original. I'm wading through James' early twentieth century prose now, and it's worth the... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 7. Juli 1999 von Scott Beckett; sbeckett@nti.net
5.0 von 5 Sternen Rich and a must for serious, searching 12 Steppers
James gets credit for the 'educational variety' of spiritual experienced described in the original source material for Alcoholics Anonymous. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 1. November 1998 von Katherine Anne Wayman
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