- Introduction: The Study of Religion and Emotion
This book offers a range of critical perspectives on the academic study of religion and emotion, in the form of syntheses, provocations, and prospective observations. The academic study of religion has recently turned to the investigation of emotion as a crucial aspect of religious life. Researchers have set out in several directions to explore that new terrain and have brought with them an assortment of instruments useful in charting it. This volume collects essays under four categories: religious traditions, religious life, emotional states, and historical and theoretical perspectives. In this book, scholars engaged in cutting edge research on religion and emotion describe the ways in which emotions have played a role in Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other religions. They analyze the manner in which key components of religious life—ritual, music, gender, sexuality and material culture—represent and shape emotional performance. Some of the essays included here take a specific emotion, such as love or hatred, and observe the place of that emotion in an assortment of religious traditions and cultural settings. Other essays analyze the thinking of figures such as St. Augustine, Søren Kierkegaard, Jonathan Edwards, Emile Durkheim, and William James.