Online Seminar Series: Religious experience

Contact Details:

Phone: 8052315974


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**Events may have been canceled or postponed. Please contact the venue to confirm the event.

Date & Time

Sat, Feb 18 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Address (map)

1129 Maricopa Highway #156

Online Seminar Series

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

Saturday, February 18, 2023

“We must judge the tree by its fruit. The best fruits of the religious experience are the best things history has to offer. The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, and bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves, have all been flown for religious ideals.”

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures (20 in total) on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concern the psychological study of individual private religious experiences and mysticism, and use a range of examples to identify commonalities in religious experiences across traditions. James concludes that religion is overall beneficial to humankind, although acknowledges that this does not establish its truth. He also considers the possibility of over-beliefs, beliefs which are not strictly justified by reason but which might understandably be held by educated people nonetheless, and had relatively little interest in the legitimacy or illegitimacy of religious experiences. Join us as we work through these lectures, with online seminars taking place about one month apart.

Click here to visit the Varieties of Religious Experience Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

February 18 Reading:

Lecture Two – Circumscription of the Topic (pages 26-52)

The Varieties of Religious Experience 

Penguin Classics; Later Printing edition
(December 16, 1982) – ISBN 978-0140390346

Series Schedule:

Saturday, March 18 – Lecture Three –
The Reality of the Unseen (pages 53-77)

Saturday, April 15 – Lectures Four and Five –
The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness (pages 78-126)

Saturday, May 13 – Lectures Six and Seven –

The Sick Soul (pages 127-165)


12:00-2:00PM PST


Andy Gilman


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