William James It's been a year in which religion has figured in some big news stories, from the Sept. 11 attacks by Muslim terrorists to sexual abuse scandals implicating Catholic priests. Commentator Joe Loconte comes to the defense of religion by reminding us of the work of Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James. Although James was himself an agnostic, in his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience he credited religious ideals for mankind's "highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience (and) bravery."
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William James

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William James

William James

William James

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1149206/149206" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

It's been a year in which religion has figured in some big news stories, from the Sept. 11 attacks by Muslim terrorists to sexual abuse scandals implicating Catholic priests. Commentator Joe Loconte comes to the defense of religion by reminding us of the work of Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James. Although James was himself an agnostic, in his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience he credited religious ideals for mankind's "highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience (and) bravery."