„The richness of its allegorical meaning also is due to his being there — that is, the world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.“

— William James, Context: But such a straight identification of religion with any and every form of happiness leaves the essential peculiarity of religious happiness out. The more commonplace happinesses which we get are 'reliefs,' occasioned by our momentary escapes from evils either experienced or threatened. But in its most characteristic embodiments, religious happiness is no mere feeling of escape. It cares no longer to escape. It consents to the evil outwardly as a form of sacrifice — inwardly it knows it to be permanently overcome. … In the Louvre there is a picture, by Guido Reni, of St. Michael with his foot on Satan's neck. The richness of the picture is in large part due to the fiend's figure being there. The richness of its allegorical meaning also is due to his being there — that is, the world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck. Lecture II, "Circumscription of the Topic"

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William James7
US-amerikanischer Psychologe und Philosoph 1842 - 1910
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