Josiah Royce’s philosophical interest in religion can be traced to his earliest days, when hymn singing and reading the Bible were constant practices in the fervently evangelical household of Josiah, Sr., and Sarah Royce in Grass Valley, California.1 Royce’s mother, Sarah, in particular, was a profound influence. She burned with the Holy Spirit, sparked by the fire-and-brimstone revivalism of the Second Great Awakening in New England, where she grew up. Educated at Phipps Union Female Seminary in Albion, New York, Mrs. Royce treasured the scriptures, and was an elegant and thorough interpreter of them for Josiah and his three sisters.

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