Writings, 1902-1910 - Study Guide The Varieties of Religious Experience Section 2 (Lectures XI-Postcript) Summary & Analysis

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Lectures XI, XII, and XIII - Saintliness

In the lectures on saintliness, James outlines distinguishing characteristics of the saints and how they differ from regular people. He refers to the previous chapters and reiterates how people have different interests. James states that "will" is used to sort out what gets expressed and what gets inhibited. He then goes on to state qualities of saintliness including asceticism, strength of soul, purity, and charity. James asserts, "Religious rapture, moral enthusiasm, ontological wonder, cosmic wonder are all unifying states - selfhood disappears and tenderness rules"(pg 256). It is through these unifying states that the qualities come online. James states that purity arises from a sense of "sensitivity to inner inconsistency." Finally, James likens the difference of those who are saintly to those who are...

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