William James called his classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, ""a study in human nature."" This volume recognizes that a fundamental feature of human nature for James is that we have a conscious and a subconscious mind and that the subconscious mind is deeply implicated in the religious life, especially in conversion and other experiences of spiritual enlightenment. In this volume, Capps addresses religious melancholy, the divided self and discordant personality, religious conversion, the saintly character, and the prayerful consciousness. In addition, the cases of two clergymen--one deeply troubled, the other exemplary of the spiritual person--are also presented. A brief discussion of James's view of religion as the generator of hope concludes this introduction to his insights into the religious life. Given that James was a popular writer in his own day, this book is intended to make his insights accessible to general readers. ""I know of no more faithful introduction to William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience than Donald Capps' The Religious Life. Situating James at center stage, Capps infiltrates every page with a lifetime of scholarship in the psychology of religion and a palpable appreciation for James' life and work. Seekers will find renewed encouragement in their spiritual quests, imbibing in the generosity of spirit and hopeful imagination that James and Capps share."" --Robert C. Dykstra, Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary ""The Religious Life is a remarkable scholarly achievement, and a richly textured exploration of the profoundly personal and contextual dimensions of James' The Varieties of Religious Experience. Capps . . . provides readers with insights into the creation of James' stunning book, and a nuanced commentary on James' study of human nature and religion."" --Lewis R. Rambo, Senior Research Professor of Psychology and Religion, San Francisco Theological Seminary ""In this elegant and expert commentary . . . Capps heralds and develops James' view that human beings live with a deep-seated capacity for hope tethered to their religious sensibilities. In doing so, Capps demonstrates deftly James' lasting importance for those drawn to living with generous religion and spirituality that feeds hope, and those who wish to be."" --Allan Hugh Cole Jr., Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin ""Donald Capps has written a beautiful text . . . with the same kind of insight and intuition that he culls from James. In the same manner that Varieties has become a classic text in religious studies, Capps' volume will surely become a classic in its own right. The contemporary reader is provided with an opportunity to consider what it means to live a religious or spiritual life."" --Carol Schweitzer, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care, Union Presbyterian Seminary Donald Capps (1939-2015) was William Harte Felmeth Professor of Pastoral Theology (Emeritus) and Adjunct Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of Striking Out (Cascade Books, 2011), At Home in the World (Cascade Books, 2013), Still Growing (Cascade Books, 2014), and The Resourceful Self (Cascade Books, 2014). He is coauthor with Nathan Carlin of Living in Limbo (Cascade Books, 2010) and The Gift of Sublimation (Cascade Books, 2015).
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