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Other titles in the Bedford Series in History & Culture series:

The Varieties of Religious Experience (Bedford Series in History & Culture)


The Varieties of Religious Experience (Bedford Series in History & Culture) Cover


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Publisher Comments:

First published in 1903, William James's Varieties of Religious Experience remains a crucial text in American intellectual history and one of the most widely read books on religion and religious experience. In this abridged edition, Robert H. Abzug offers James's key insights in a concise and accessible format. Abzug's introduction offers background on James and situates his work within the context of late nineteenth and early twentieth century intellectual currents, including psychology and philosophy. In addition, it shows how James sought to reconcile religion and science by psychologically interpreting the experience of religious states of mind while validating what he called "the reality of the unseen." A chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography further enrich students' understanding.

About the Author

Robert H. Abzug (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) is Professor of History and American Studies, Audre and Bernard Rapoport Regents Chair of Jewish Studies, and founding director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests focus on American cultural history, history of psychology and religion, and the history of the Holocaust. His major publications include Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination;  Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps; and Passionate Liberator: Theodore Dwight Weld and the Dilemma of Reform.

Table of Contents



PART ONE. Introduction: William James and the Reality of the Unseen

     Historical and Biographical Perspective

     William James between the Worlds of Religion and Science

     Religious and Other Abnormal Experiences

     The Gifford Lectures

     Beyond Edinburgh

PART TWO. The Document: The Varieties of Religious Experience

     Lecture I: Religion and Neurology

     Lecture II: Circumscription of the Topic

     Lecture III: The Reality of the Unseen

     Lectures IV and V: The Religion of Healthy Mindedness

     Lectures VI and VII: The Sick Soul

     Lecture VIII: The Divided Self, and the Process of its Unification

     Lecture IX: Conversion

     Lecture X: Conversion - Concluded

     Lectures XI, XII, and XIII: Saintliness

     Lectures XIV and XV: The Value of Saintliness

     Lectures XVI and XVII: Mysticism

     Lecture XVIII: Philosophy

     Lecture XIX: Other Characteristics

     Lecture XX: Conclusions


     A William James Chronology (1842-1910)

     Questions for Consideration

     Selected Bibliography


Product Details

James, William
Bedford Books
Abzug, Robert
Abzug, Robert H.
General History
World History-General
Psychology : General
Bedford Cultural Editions Series
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » General

The Varieties of Religious Experience (Bedford Series in History & Culture) New Trade Paper
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Product details 192 pages Bedford Books - English 9780312488307 Reviews:
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