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  • © 2018

The Demons of William James

Religious Pragmatism Explores Unusual Mental States

Palgrave Macmillan

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  • Blends historical context with current practices of demonology, exorcism

  • Engages the concept of demonology, considering how alien possession becomes a contemporary form of demon possession

  • Much like demon possession, it is a book of many voices residing in one body

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USD 44.99
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  • ISBN: 978-3-319-91623-1
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Softcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
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Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-ix
  2. James Family Vastation

    • Tadd Ruetenik
    Pages 1-25
  3. Piper, Salem, and the Communal Demonic

    • Tadd Ruetenik
    Pages 41-65
  4. The “Cruel” Death of William James

    • Tadd Ruetenik
    Pages 133-157
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 159-169

About this book

This book is a psychological exploration of unusual minds, a religious exploration of demonological myth, and a philosophical exploration of the reaches of pragmatism. It uses topics such as hypnotism, mediumship, and mass possession to argue for a comprehensive understanding of the demonic that acknowledges not only the creativity which it encourages, but also the danger it can bring. Professor Ruetenik uses James’ religious pragmatism to evaluate the relevance of psychical research, and to explain common beliefs regarding demons, spirits, and other controlling personalities.

 The conclusion of this interdisciplinary research is as alarming as it is fascinating: When exploring the demons of William James, we discover that ordinary personality cannot be clearly separated from what we consider the demonic.

Keywords

  • William James
  • Demons
  • American philosophy
  • pragmatism
  • psychology
  • religion and society

Reviews

“Ruetenik accomplished his goal of revealing the ambiguous nature of the demon, … the interdisciplinary approach makes it more accessible. I would recommend it to anyone interested in religious experiences, James, or Spiritualism in general.” (Courtney Lacy, Reading Religion, readingreligion.org, May 22, 2019)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saint Ambrose University, Davenport, IA, USA

    Tadd Ruetenik

About the author

Tadd Ruetenik is Professor of Philosophy at St. Ambrose University, USA.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-91623-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)