Religious experience has been one of the focuses of discussion of critical thinking especially since the nineteenth century. Here two fundamental distinctions can be made methodologically: the study of religious experience on the horizon where it intersects with the institutional side of religion or with personal experience. William James provides a distinctively constitutive example of the second method presented in The Varieties of Religious Experience. Treating religious experience in its personal dimensions highlights a unique aspect of it: mysticism. While approaching religious experience at the border of personal experience his work, James engages in a serious analysis of documents. Although he is one of the founding fathers of psychology, what James does here is not just basically a psychology of religion. Based on the analysis of this vast repertoire of documents, James tries to reveal a science of religions. In this context, in the present study, James' approach to religious experience will be examined. Although the study is methodologically descriptive, the aim of this attitude is to indicate the actuality of James's work.
Keywords: Religious experience, mysticism, science of religions, moral life