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Antonov Konstantin

The Idea of Religious Experience of W. James in Russian Religious Studies: Religious Thought of the First Third of XX Century


Antonov Konstantin (2015) "The Idea of Religious Experience of W. James in Russian Religious Studies: Religious Thought of the First Third of XX Century ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2015, vol. 61, pp. 91-111 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201561.91-111

Abstract

The article examines the role which a discussion around the book of the American philosopher and psychologist W. James «The Varieties of Religious Experience» played in the development of the Russian philosophy and psychology of religion. The author carries out an analytical review of the Russian reception of James’s philosophy and psychology of religion inasmuch as they are connected with the concept of religious experience. The main attention is paid to the reception of the ideas of the American philosopher in the beginning of the 20th century and to its continuation among Russian emigrants. The author presents short summaries of debates concerning James’s ideas in the principal Russian philosophical and theological periodicals: «Questions of Philosophy and Psychology», «Logos», «The Russian Thought», «Theological Review», «Faith and Reason» — and then points out those authors who presented their understanding of the ideas of the American philosopher outside these periodicals. Despite the fact that the reception as a whole had philosophical character (it was mostly representatives of theological academies who were ready to develop the psychology of religion «in James’s spirit»), one can say that in its framework the growth of the psychology of religion as a special field of research was outlined. And what is even more important — there emerged psychologism as a special form of cognitive interest in the field of religious studies. Not only philosophers and psychologists, but theologians as well learned to look on religion as a psychological phenomenon, «experience». And this concept step by step moved forward into the centre of the psychological study of religion as its own specifi c subject.

Keywords

religious experience, feeling, psychology of religion, philosophy of religion, mysticism, W. James, Russian religious philosophy, ecclesiastical academies.

References


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Information about the author

Antonov Konstantin