Writings, 1902-1910 Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

The Varieties of Religious Experience Section 1 (Lectures I-X)

* James defines religion as the feelings, acts, and experiences an individual has in private involving the divine.

* James insists that for a man to experience the divine he must let go of his ego and allow God to flow through him.

* Instinct is the first factor prompting people to act. Instinct is followed by logic, according to James.

The Varieties of Religious Experience Section 2 (Lectures XI-Postcript)

* James designates the qualities of saintliness as ascetism, strength of the soul, purity, and charity.

* James claims that the results of excess devoutness is fanaticism. Excess virtue becomes vice, and excess charity is gullibility.

* James believes that religion is personal and should be based on the individual.

Pragmatism Section I (Lectures I-IV)

* James describes philosophy as both sublime and trivial, encompassing the religious rationalist position and the irreligious empiricist position.

* James believes that humans...

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