Robert Richardson on William James

December 23, 2012

If you want to trace the origins of the "being spiritual, not religious" movement, you need to go back to William James.  His classic book "The Varieties of Religious Experience" gave us a new understanding of religion.  James thought religion was about spiritual experience, not what a sacred text tells us.  Biographer Robert Richardson tells Steve Paulson about James' willingness to embrace uncertainty.



This was a wonderful segment that I truly enjoyed. I do however, believe there is a real distinction between religious and spiritual beliefs. Religious beliefs are based on dogmatic social systems; whereas, spiritual beliefs are individually experienced transcendence. That distinction is important in any discussion about those topics.