The Varieties of Religious Experience | Study Guide

William James

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William James, Lecture 2 ow infinitely passionate a thing religion at its highest flights can be. Like love, like wrath, like hope, ambition, jealousy … it adds to life an enchantment which is not rationally … deducible from anything else. Sources: The Cambridge Companion to William James by Michael Tanner, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Harvard University Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Buddhism Meditation, compassion, and detachment lead to enlightenment. American Transcendentalism God exists in human beings, who trust in the goodness of nature. Catholic Mysticism Union with God through prayer results in spiritual ecstasy. Context Transcendentalist poet; drew spiritual and religious inspiration from nature Walt Whitman Puritan preacher; wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory for the trials of faith John Bunyan Catholic mystic; saw communion with God as a state of bliss in which the self is forgotten Saint Teresa of Ávila Quaker; forbidden by God to show false signs of respect to others George Fox Key Figures First trained in medicine, James became a psychologist, philosopher, and distinguished Harvard professor. An American pragmatist, he was among the first to examine religion from psychological and scientific perspectives, concluding that the truth of religion is proved by its ability to transform individual lives. WILLIAM JAMES1842–1910 Author People defeat evil by being “reborn” into a state of purity. Born & Reborn The ways people change when they feel divinity prove such experiences are real. Proof in Fruits The fruit of communion with divinity is the same across cultures and religions. Universality James, the father of American psychology, argues that the proof of God’s appearance in the mind is found in the universal fruits of all sincere religious practices. These fruits are the noblest “products” humanity has to show for itself: love, devotion, trust, patience, and bravery. Knowledge of God’s Many Forms MAIN IDEAS English Original Language 1902 Year Published William James Author The Varieties of Religious Religion Nonfiction

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