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BOOKS

The Varieties of Religious Experience

The Universal Library

William James

RRP: £9.99

1 January 2015

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781843548577

In The Varieties of Religious Experience William James applied scientific method to a field that had previously been treated as theoretical, abstract philosophy. James explored the psychology of personal belief, emphasising the importance of individual religious experience, rather than organised creeds or theologies. His pluralistic view of religion led to a remarkable tolerance for extreme forms of religious behaviour and a willingness to take risks in formulating his own theories on how an individual stands in relation to the divine. Examining conversion, possession, ecstasy and near-death experience as examples of human, rather than divine, creation, The Varieties of Religious Experience continues to provoke controversy and enquiry.