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A Study in the Psychology of Religion
E. LEIGH MUDGE, PH.D.
Methodist Episcopal Church
Edinboro (Pa.) State Normal School
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR BY
JUL - 8 1924
Olive Paul Mudge
HAVE MADE THIS BOOK POSSIBLE,
ONE OF the great gains of modern psychology is in the recent tendency to revaluate the various senses and emphasize the great significance of certain sense elements hitherto underestimated. Previously we have devoted our chief attention to vision, audition, and other senses which most clearly objectify experience; we are now turning to those senses, like pain, strain, and temperature, which vitalize experience and make it significant; and the present tendency is toward a frank and full recognition of the fact that in all human experiences these deep-seated, intimate senses are of the greatest importance. That this is true is indicated by the work of such students as Crile, Cannon, Carlson, and others, who have found the roots of the great emotional tendencies and active attitudes in the deeper-lying organic and sense mechanisms rather than in the intellectual cognitions to which sight and hearing are so important.
The present volume seeks to discover the applicability of this newer evaluation of the senses to what is perhaps the most complex experience of all, our attitude toward God, or toward whatever we conceive to be the fundamental reality of the universe. The God-experience owes its vitality to the fact that it is deep-rooted in the most vital and significant elements of sense and feeling. It is more than cognition or intellectual comprehension. A merely cognitive God-idea is relatively cold and distant. The Godexperience is relatively warm and vital, and although cognition has a place within the experience, it is among the lesser values. The total experience is worthful in so far as it embodies the affective and emotive elements which have their root in the intimate senses and organic reactions. This being true, there is need of a change in the center of gravity of our study of religion. We have been too often chiefly concerned with religious cognitions, religious ideas. Henceforth we must shift our central emphasis to other levels of mentality. We must study the affective and motivating phases of mind.
The God-experience, differing according to individual temperament, social environment, place, time, and attendant circumstances, is always more complex than surface observation would indicate.