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The Interpretation of Religious Experience, Vol. 1

Excerpt from The Interpretation of Religious Experience, Vol. 1: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Glasgow in the Years 1910-12 Instead of adopting and consistently following out an evolutionist point of view, a number of discordant facts of the religious consciousness are gathered together, without any attempt being made to consider them in the light of the stage of historical evolution in which they appear. It is therefore not surprising that anything like a system of theology is held to be beyond our reach. The same method is also applied to the study of philosophy itself. The speculations of Plato and Aristotle, of Descartes, Spinoza and Leibnitz, of Locke, Berkeley and Hume, of Kant and Hegel, are ignored, and an attempt is made to begin from immediate experience - as if there were any element of our experience that is not saturated with the thought of the past. Convinced that no fruitful results can in this way be secured, I have endeavoured to follow with a critical eye the main current of reflection upon religion, and especially upon Christianity, with the idea that in this way some assured result might be obtained. It will of course be evident to anyone familiar with the subject that in the constructive part of the undertaking I have found in Hegel, and in his English exponents, the most suggestive ideas for my purpose; but I think it well to add that I do not accept the doctrine presented as Hegelian in the works of some English and German exponents and critics. If the philosophy of Hegel, as Lotze holds, is simply a pan-logism; or if its fundamental principle is an abstract and indeterminate Absolute; or if it denies all freedom to man, and regards him as but the passive organ of an underlying Something-not-ourselves; then anyone who reads the following pages will see that it is widely different from the view I have tried to express. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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