James’ appointment to a Gifford Lectureship was formally made in 1898. It was originally intended that the first series should be "descriptive" and the second "metaphysical," but the descriptive task expanded so greatly that the metaphysical task had to be postponed to another occasion. The first series of Lectures began at Edinburgh, on May 16, 1901. The lectures had been prepared for the press and appeared in June 1902 under the title, The Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature. The book, like the lectures, was signally successful. The reader receives the impression that James regarded religious experiences, even though they be judged pathological by strict psychiatric standards, as in some sense and in some degree inspired. Their "exceptional" character commended them to him. Unquestionably James was justifying, and not merely describing, the religious experience. He stationed himself at the centre of the believer's consciousness and tried to convey its warmth and appeal as they were originally felt. He was concerned with religious values, with the hope or exaltation of concrete individuals, which must be rendered sympathetically if they are to be conveyed at all. And then, especially in the latter part of the book, the author defended the claims of religious experience. Philosophy, in the person of William James, confirmed its truth. A century later, it is interesting to look back and consider the extent to which James’ understanding of the relationship between religious experience, belief and personality has been upheld by subsequent researchs.