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Considered one of the great intellectual achievements of the twentieth century, James’s influential book seeks to shift the emphasis in the study of religion and psychology from the dogmas and external forms of religion to the unique mental states associated with it.
This notable and influential study of the psychology of religion asserts that instead of the tenants of organized religion, we should look to the individual religious experiences as the foundations of religious life. As such, James makes his case with the religious accounts of various well-known thinkers throughout history, applying an analytic clarity to their stories and developing a pluralistic framework that defines the divine as a group of, rather than one single, qualities. The Varieties of Religious Experience presents readers with an intellectual, rather than emotional, call for both religious tolerance and respect.