If I may be permitted to be mildly autobiographical in this introduction, it is to be justified by the fact that it throws some light on the logic of what follows. When I was asked to contribute to the present series of books, basically in the philosophy of religion, and to write about the phenomenon of religion, I was naturally delighted and alarmed. Delighted because of the kindness shown to me by Professor John Hick in choosing me for this; but alarmed because the task presented a dilemma. To write adequately about the phenomenon (or phenomena) of religion would require an exhaustive survey of types of cults, beliefs, experiences, institutions, social arrangements, symbolisms, and so forth. This was both beyond the scope of a book of this size and beyond my knowledge and powers. On the other hand something in this direction ought to be performed, especially in a series devoted to the philosophy of religion. In writing the book I have tried to keep two strategies in mind: first, to concentrate somewhat on the methods required in the study of religion, for questions of method are inevitably of importance to the philosopher.
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