Varieties of Religious Experience

Author: James, William (1842-1910)

This collection of 20 lectures was presented by William James at the 1901-1902 Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh. In these lectures, James explores individual religious experience as it varies among humans. James associates religious experience with the feelings and actions of individuals in a relationship with what they believe to be the Divine. James digs deep into the psychological underpinnings of religious experience; he is less concerned with studying religious institutions and theology. He discusses the origin, nature, and variation of religious experience and raises questions about its power. Some of his lectures focus on conversion, others on mysticism or virtue. His empirical study of human nature and individual religious experiences is remarkable complex, and yet his style of presentation is accessible to a wide variety of audiences. James' lectures come together to form the brilliant intertwining of religion, philosophy, and psychology.

Emmalon Davis
CCEL Staff Writer