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Comparison Of The Religious Theories And Perspectives Of William James And Viktor Frankl

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The fallowing paper covers the religious theories and positions from the psychological perspectives of famous theorists William James and Viktor Frankl. The theories from each will be compared and in contrast to each other, and will conclude with a personal opinion of who’s position is better.
William James It was the belief of professor, William James, that one’s religious beliefs is the results of one’s temperament. In this case, James is referring to one’s temperament as one’s character or personality. James explains that there are two basic types of temperaments; “the tender minded” and “the tough minded.” He describes tender minded individuals as those who fallow principles (rationalistic), and have a belief in the principle of
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In this view, God is the source and author of saving experiences for the “sick minded” – those who need comfort and assurance. In James’ book, the Varieties, he recognizes the side of human nature that need’s God for both “healthy minded” and “sick minded.” This need is for not only challenges and action, but also comfort and peace. Also in his book, the Varieties, James’ states that there are two different types of religious experiences; both “institutional” and “personal.” He proposed that these religious experiences are the real backbone of religion. Instead of focusing on the institutional experiences that bring theologies, moral teachings, or church life, James’ chooses to focus on personal experiences. He does this because he argues that personal experiences are the fundamental aspects of religious lives in at least two senses. First, ever church exists because of the personal experiences of its original founder. Thus, the tradition of the church was created for its believers to experience the traditions of its founder (e.g. Christ, Mahammad, etc.). James’ then argues that each founder of a church owes its power to a direct personal communication with the divine. The second sense would be that personal experiences are the root for every individual’s religious lives. Believers are not believers because of what they’ve been taught by the church, but rather something much deeper than reason. An experiential, emotional, and intuitive depths of person
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