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"The writing of this book was first undertaken because I wished to present the conception of Religion. In attempting to make my argument convincing I have found it necessary to deal with questions which did not at first appear to relate to the subject I wished to discuss, and the study of Religion thus appears as a subsidiary part of the broader treatment of Instinct and Reason; the reader will readily perceive, however, that it still remains the most important and most interesting matter considered. It has long seemed to me evident that activities which are so universal in man as are those which express our religious life, cannot fail to be of significance in relation to our biological development, especially as these activities have persisted for so many ages in the human race. I have, therefore, attempted to outline a theory which will account for the existence of religious activities, and which will explain their biological import. In order to present this clearly I have thought it best to make a special study of Instinct, to which the second division of the book is devoted, to show the relation of religious activities to instinctive activities in general. This study of Instinct naturally leads to the study of Impulse in division III, and this turns our thought to a consideration of the nature of moral standards which we all acknowledge to be most closely related to religious activities. In like manner the study of Reason, while natural in connection with the study of Instinct, has also its appropriateness in connection with the consideration of the nature of Religion"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).