Von Hügel performs an invaluable service for religion and deserves to be classified among the seminal thinkers in religious studies because of his holistic approach to the study and practice of religion. He insists on a healthy friction ortension between various elements of religion as a necessary component of a mature religious life. Such friction is found especially in the interplay of the mystical element of religion with the intellectual and institutional elements. This mystical element, which includes a person's volitional and intuitive side as well as effortful activity, is found to be a legitimate area of scientific investigation and a valid form of human knowledge. Von Hügel's contributions to the study and practice of religion are then situated and evaluated in terms of four areas of current interest. These areas are the journey toward wholeness, the possibility of self-transcendence, the spiritual importance of the body, and the eschatological anticipation of mankind's final end.
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