The following dissertation argues that James’s will to believe is a call to believe that has at its origin a divine being. The will is not absolute but shaped by the call; however, the caller can also has at its origin the human being who calls God through prayers. On the other side, there is a divine being calling and hearing the calls; this divine being is a weak God, or as James states a finite God; however, I argue that the weakness of God is practical and not ontological. God in himself is omnipotent, thus, his weakness is from a human’s understanding, God does not lack power in himself but he lacks power over us; out of respect to our freedom.
The first chapter discusses the caller and the called, the call is not always a religious call but it can be a human call, it is the human calling another human to live in an ethical community, moreover, the call can be originated from the self toward itself as in the form of a Heideggerian call. However, the call must be answered because it is a genuine option. The second chapter defines religion according to James as an experience related to feelings and differentiates between the first and second hand religion and between the religion of healthy-mindedness and sick souls. The third chapter studies the practical fruits of religion and the four marks of mystical experience. The fourth chapter examines the human answer to the divine call and defines the call to believe as a call to change the world and not a mere call to believe in a set of dogmas. The call to believe is a call to assume responsibilities as individuals and to live a moral and religious life.
|Commitee:||Busch, Thomas, Wetzel, James|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||James, William, Pragmatism, Radical empiricism, Religious experiences, Weak god, Will to believe|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be