The Meaning of Pluralism

American philosopher William James (1842-1910) traveled to Oxford, England and Manchester College in 1908. Between 4 May and 28 May, he deliver the Hibbert Lectures, which were originally published in 1909 as A Pluralistic Universe. This was to be the last major book James published during his lifetime. Manchester College had been founded in the English city of Manchester in 1786 for the education of nonconformists, and moved to Oxford in 1888. Some considerable emphasis on religion in the Hibbert Lectures is expected. They are an annual series of “non-sectarian lectures on theological issues” sponsored by the Hibbert Trust, which was founded in 1847 by the Unitarian Robert Hibbert to “uphold the unfettered exercise of private judgment in matters of religion.” Though Manchester College is located in Oxford, it was not until recently (1996) that it became one of the colleges of Oxford University. At the time of James’ visit, it was outside the university and part of Great Britain’s accommodation to Christian non-conformists.
Keywords William James  American philosophy  pluralism
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