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First Edition   ©2013

The Varieties of Religious Experience

William James , Robert H. Abzug (University of Texas at Austin)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-48830-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-312-48830-7
  • Paper Text , 192 pages

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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.
"This is the most accessible, compact, readable and eminently teachable version of The Varieties of Religious Experience that I have encountered. Professor Abzug has trimmed non-essential passages from the text without sacrificing sense or sensibility, a tremendous feat that will be warmly received by teachers and students alike."

— James T. Fisher, Fordham University