Friday, July 26, 2013

The Varieties of Religious Experience

There is nothing new under the sun...

The Varieties of Religious Experience (Being the Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion Delivered in Edinburgh 1901-1902) has been around for well over a century.  I hit the planet 56 years later (yeah, more than half a century ago).  If I'd read Varieties forty years ago my life would have been immeasurably improved.  This has all been worked through before.  Written by physician and philosopher William James, who is also regarded by many as the father of modern psychology, it shows both its age and its prescience.  I used his chapter on Mysticism while working on my Master's, but only just now got around to reading it whole. Varieties is both a century-old time capsule and a valuable piece of timeless wisdom.

The big questions are not new.

If you have an e-reader you can read Varieties for free.  If you have an MP3 player you can have it read to you.