The Psychology of Religious Experiences

The Psychology of Religious Experiences

The Psychology of Religious Experiences

The Psychology of Religious Experiences

Excerpt

What is popularly called the "psychology of religion" is a highly important matter which for long has fallen among various stools. Seventy years ago, both psychologists and anthropologists, most of whom had begun life with deep religious concern, were collecting and studying data on man's religious life in a way that is now little done. The growth of scientific thinking suddenly made general observations and approximate conclusions increasingly unattractive, and the data of religion did not lend themselves to precise or quantitative study. A new pattern, that of devotion to the precise appraisal of data, came into being among the intelligentsia, which scorned the old approaches as disdainfully as the prophets of Israel had scorned the idols of Baal, scorned them all the more because they themselves were not aware that they were setting up what they took to be the "true" faith, belief in counting and measuring, over against the old theological ones.

This new religion of the quest or search, of which I shall . . .

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