The Idea of Immortality: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh in the Year 1922

The Idea of Immortality: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh in the Year 1922

The Idea of Immortality: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh in the Year 1922

The Idea of Immortality: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh in the Year 1922

Excerpt

THESE Lectures may be regarded as in some sense a sequel to those delivered on the Gifford Foundation in the University of Aberdeen and afterwards published as The Idea of God. The question with which they deal was touched upon there incidentally at several points, but more by way of implication than of direct argument. Perhaps these indications might have been taken as sufficient; for a writer's conclusions on such a subject are the natural outcome of his general philosophical position, and specific argument about immortality has not been notably successful or profitable in the past. But the place and destiny of the finite individual became the subject of an animated discussion, starting from certain statements in The Idea of God, in a Symposium of the Aristotelian Society held in the summer of 1918. And when Principal Jacks conveyed to me in 1920 an invitation from the Hibbert Trustees to deliver a short course of lectures in Oxford, and intimated at the same time a strong desire that I should take Immortality as my subject, it seemed almost incumbent upon me to endeavour to meet the wish thus expressed. The six lectures delivered in Manchester College in the Lent Term of 1921 have been refashioned and elaborated, with considerable additions, to form the present course. I have to thank the Hibbert Trustees for their courtesy in leaving me perfectly free to use the material of my Oxford lectures for this further purpose. It would have been impossible for me otherwise to accept their invitation, and the pleasure of lecturing in Oxford and of meeting students and teachers there is one which I would not willingly have missed.

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