The Varieties of Religious Experience came about as the result of William James's legendary lecture series at The University of Edinburgh. It consisted of 20 Lectures, 2 courses of 10 lectures each. In this series, James examines in detail the nature of religion, expanding on pragmatism in the process. As part of the canon of modern philosophy and psychology, these lectures are both classic and relevant.
Older brother of novelist Henry James, William James (1842-1910) was a philosopher, psychologist, physiologist, and professor at Harvard. James has influenced such twentieth-century thinkers as Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermans, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva.