ONE OR MANY RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCES IN JAMES’S THEORY?
The main topic of this article is the problem of religious experience discussed in the works of William James. The basic question the author poses concerning this experience is whether there is one or many types of such experiences. James accepts their multiplicity but at the same time he recognizes only one as the right one. The multiplicity of experiences is connected with the institutionalization of religion, of which James is opposed to . He does not reject religion itself (which comes from human expectations) as a form of manifestation of religious experience. The field/realm of religion is associated with emotions and their ability to influence the will. The hypothesis of God strengthens motivation of the individual. James proposes a pragmatic approach to religion, rejecting its rationality in favor of utility. Religion is a function of will and feelings; excessive intellectualism kills its attractiveness. However, James's concept of religion includes a type of simplification since it is characterized by excessive reductionism in the description of the human condition.
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