New Course on William James and “The Varieties of Religious Experience”

Sterling Harwood, Ph.D., will offer a five-week course on the famed American philosopher William James, who is noted for his study of the nature of religious experience from the perspective of psychology, empirical science, and philosophy. James’s famous essay on The Will to Believe debated the question of what evidence is needed for asserting a belief in God and the truths of faith. James argued that belief is a forced option required from a pragmatic standpoint. James also wrote the most noted text on the philosophy of religion, The Varieties of Religious Experience. This course will focus on James’ understanding of mystical experience as developed in his writings.  James set forth the psychological foundations on the nature of religious experience and its importance for the discovery of practical meaning for human existence.

Doctor Harwood earned his doctorate in Philosophy and Juris Doctor degrees from Cornell University. He has taught philosophy at Evergreen College in San Jose for over 25 years. He has previously taught an ethics course for GMU and is the author of several books on ethics and philosophical issues.

This course will run for five weeks beginning the first Friday of August on Zoom. It will be interactive in nature and run for 90 minutes per session. The cost is only $100 plus the $25 application fee.