Variations on James by Jeremy Lott

Variations on James

The Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited
by Charles Taylor
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2002
(127 pages; $19.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Jeremy Lott

McGill professor of philosophy (emeritus) Charles Taylor was awarded the 1999 Gifford Lectureship—a prize that had previously been given to such speakers as Albert Schweitzer, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Sir James Frazer. Financed by the estate of Adam Gifford, the lectures are held annually at the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews. The speaker is given the dais to explore whatever subject he wishes, so long as he manages to advance in some way “the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term—in other words the knowledge of God.”

While he was combing familiar . . .