THE PRIMACY OF EMOTION IN RELIGION? WILLIAM JAMES'S CONCEPT OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
In his fundamental book, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), which enjoyed considerable attention among philosophers, psychologists, as well as religious studies specialists, William James, in the title itself, indicates his perception of the phenomenon of religious experience as extremely diverse. However, carrying distinctive elements of pragmatism and also James's theory of emotion (called James-Lange theory), the religious experience is here understood primarily as a strongly emotional phenomenon. Although James did not acknowledge the existence of specifically religious emotions, he considered emotions to be the most essential/ significant within the religious experience. The purpose of this paper is to present James’s concept of religious experience from the perspective of such characteristics as privacy, directness/immediacy or nobleness. An attempt undertaken here is to look at the essence of religion in the form of a religious experience through the reference to James's original theory of experience.
Politechnika Opolska, Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego i Fizjoterapii, Instytut Turystyki i Rekreacji, Katedra Aktywnych Form Turystyki i Rekreacji, ul. Prószkowska 76, 45-758 Opole
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