The Motives of Men

The Motives of Men

The Motives of Men

The Motives of Men

Excerpt

Now that the long labor of writing this book is done, what does it all amount to? Only the reader can answer this question; but perhaps the reader's labor can be facilitated by knowing what moved the author to write. This, then, as nearly as I can tell the story, is the way it all happened.

Imagine yourself to be the following kind of polyglot being: Your daily occupation is teaching the principles of education with particular reference to the formation of moral and religious character; you have taken some part in developing the psychology of religion, and you teach a class in this subject also; you are likewise keenly interested in the movements of the religious and social life of our time.

On each of these three sides of you there emerges one and the same problem--the dynamics of mind, specifically the human mind. As teacher of education you must consider what motives are in operation in both adult life and child life, how selection among them is made, and how some can be caused to grow, and others not to grow As student of the psychology of religion you must inquire what it is that allures men into their enormous involvement in religious practices and institutions. As churchman and as citizen of the world you pause before the waning influence of churches upon civilization, and before the waxing influence of industrialism; and you cannot ignore either the large-scale ignoble conduct that . . .

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