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This timely book aims to change the way we think about religion by putting emotion back onto the agenda. It challenges a tendency to over-emphasise rational aspects of religion, and rehabilitates its embodied, visceral and affective dimensions. Against the view that religious emotion is a purely private matter, it offers a new framework which shows how religious emotions arise in the varied interactions between human agents and religious communities, human agents and objects of devotion, and communities, sacred symbols. It Presents parallels and contrasts between religious emotions in European and American history, in other cultures, and in contemporary western societies. By taking emotions seriously, A Sociology of Religious Emotion sheds new light on the power of religion to shape fundamental human orientations and motivations: hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, loves and hatreds.
Thoughtfully illustrated with photographic plates that capture the global range of religions and cultures discussed.
1 Emotion: A Relational View 20
2 Religious Emotion 54
3 Dynamics of Religious Emotion I: Connections of Self, Society, and Symbols 95
4 Dynamics of Religious Emotion II: Disconnections of Self, Society, and Symbols 123
5 The Power of Religious Emotion 147
6 Religious Emotion in Late Modern Society, and Culture 172
Appendix: Studying Religious Emotion: Method and Practice 218