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Cravings for Deliverance

How William James, the Father of American Psychology, Inspired Alcoholics Anonymous

Paul Schulte

William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience, first published in 1902, is considered one of the seminal books of the twentieth century and had an important influence on the thinking of Carl Jung and the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Indeed, The Varieties of Religious Experience is the only text quoted in Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”). Yet the strong influence of James and his work on the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous is not well known, understood, or recognized.

Cravings for Deliverance is the first book to explore the profound effect that Dr. James and his book had on AA and its founders. In addition to weaving together brief excerpts from James’s book with the writings of Bill Wilson (who wrote most of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous) to show how closely the two men’s work resonated, the book also provides new insight, information, and perspective for those interested in James and his work, and the many people in Twelve-Step programs, including Alanon, who have found Varieties of Religious Experience difficult to navigate.

256 pp.  
6" x 9"

Lantern Books


Published:  September 2014


Paul Schulte has had a career in finance in both the public and private sectors. He has taught business, public policy, and law and diplomacy at universities in the U.S., U.K., and Hong Kong. He received a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Master of Arts in International Finance in 1988 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a joint program with Tufts University and Harvard University. He also has a credential in counseling (specializing in drug and alcohol addiction) from Loyola Marymount University. He counsels, consults, and teaches in Hong Kong. See all books by Paul Schulte

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