International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development


International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
Vol. 4, Issue 7 (2017)

Nature and spirit of universal religion according to William James


Dr. MR Rajalakshmi

William James seeks to understand Universal religion in an entirely different way. He advocates an empirical approach to religion. The empirical approach to religion does not consist in approaching the phenomenon of religion as such as in approaching the fact of religious responses present in men. He is aware that religion is the concern of man hence any attempt to understand religion must take into account the religious feelings and urges the men. William James belives that there has to be an object of religious experience. In a very broad sense James calls that object the divine the word divine, as we have seen, does not stand for the notion of a God. It stands for whatever the religious individual may consider to be the divine. It may be a law, or a spirit or a God or the total universe or certain ideals of actions. The chief character of this object is that the religious individual feels that there has to be a harmonious relationship between this object and his own self. This object appears to him as the goal of this religious urges and aspirations. Thus, Willam James is able to show conclusively that Universal Religion is also a human response and way of life. James is able to emphasize with atmost clarity is that for a proper understanding of the nature of Universal Religion, it is essential to consider the consequences of religion. Religion also will not be able to survive if it does not appear to be useful and in the true with the matter of fact attitude of the present day mind. Willam James takes the risk of even distorting the nature of traditional religion. James is able to realize that a dogmatic clinging to the tradition or an attempt to preserve even the outworn and dead aspects of tradition is paying a way for one’s own annihilation.
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How to cite this article:
Dr. MR Rajalakshmi. Nature and spirit of universal religion according to William James. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Volume 4, Issue 7, 2017, Pages 365-367
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development