Download A Sociology of Religious Emotion by Linda Woodhead, Ole Riis PDF

By Linda Woodhead, Ole Riis

This well timed ebook goals to alter the way in which we predict approximately faith through placing emotion again onto the schedule. It demanding situations an inclination to over-emphasise rational points of faith, and rehabilitates its embodied, visceral and affective dimensions. opposed to the view that non secular emotion is a merely deepest topic, it deals a brand new framework which exhibits how spiritual feelings come up within the diversified interactions among human brokers and spiritual groups, human brokers and items of devotion, and groups and sacred symbols. It provides parallels and contrasts among spiritual feelings in ecu and American background, in different cultures, and in modern western societies. through taking feelings heavily, A Sociology of spiritual Emotion sheds new gentle at the energy of faith to form primary human orientations and motivations: hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, loves and hatreds.

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This ‘felt sense’ is full of proto-linguistic possibilities related to patterns of embodied motor activities that give a meaningful structure to physical experience. These possibilities relate to the patterned, recurrent relations between our selves and our social and material settings, which take shape as meaning structures through which our world begins to exhibit a measure of coherence, regularity, and intelligibility. Visual images may be the most basic and compact means by which we bring such patterns to consciousness—and semi-consciousness in dreams—but they can also be articulated by way of words and abstract 44 Emotion: A Relational View concepts.

17 The ‘source’ of a symbol or metaphor is sometimes an early, embodied, repeated, and in that sense ‘primary’ human experience, like a child’s relation to a father. When God is symbolized as a father, some of the emotional complex associated with fathers is transferred to the target concept. This may involve fear, affection, a sense of security, or love, but in a uniquely personal combination. Additional symbols for God and teachings about God within a particular religious tradition will modify those feelings, as the sensibilities of a religious person are ‘educated’ within a religious system.

The symbol serves as the symbolic carrier and stimulus of the sentiments associated with the sacred. Nevertheless, it is the social group itself that provides the main fuel of such collective effervescence; it must gather regularly to refresh the symbolic object’s power. Simmel (1912/1997, 1989/1997) parallels Durkheim in his appreciation of the role of social groups in generating religious emotions, but considers a wider range of social situations than ritualized gatherings, and gives greater weight to symbolic objects in the cultivation of religious emotion.

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