A Sociology of Religious Emotion

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199655779
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/5/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Woodhead is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University, and Director of the Religion and Society Programme - a major national research council initiative which embraces 80 separate projects. Her books include Religions in the Modern World (with Koko Kawanami and Chris Partridge), An Introduction to Christianity, The Spiritual Revolution (with Paul Heelas), Peter Berger and the Study of Religion, and Congregational Studies in the UK (with Mathew Guest and Karin Tusting).

Ole Riis is Professor of Sociology of Religion at the University of Agder in Norway. His research includes sociology of religion, general sociology, methodology of social science, survey studies and public planning. His books, in Danish and English, include On Methods and Theories in the Sociology of Religion, Social Science in Practice, Religion in Secularizing Society, and Combined Methods in the Social Sciences.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction 1

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

Conclusion 207

Appendix: Studying Religious Emotion: Method and Practice 218

References 233

Index 261

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