William James on the Act of Religious Belief

Bijdragen 60 (4):419-435 (1999)
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Abstract

In this article Ricken indicates how James reacts to the physicalistic way of thinking in religious matters. James stresses the crucial difference between opting for a scientific hypothesis and opting for a religious belief. His claim is not merely that religious belief has the same rights as religious unbelief , but moreover that religious belief is more in accordance with the depths of human nature. The study of mysticism reveals the possibility of human self-surrender and the force of the abstractions of religious doctrine

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