Introduction: The Study of Religion and Emotion

John Corrigan

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195170214
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Introduction: The Study of Religion and Emotion


This book is about religion and emotion. It explores the emotional component in religion within the framework of a certain tradition, focusing on emotion in new religious movements. There are essays on Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Japanese religions, Buddhism, and Islam. The book remarks on ways that emotion has been overlooked in the study of religious traditions, and how a focus on the emotional can lead to fresh understandings about how persons create, through religion, relationships with nature, deities, and each other. It also includes essays that address the emotion component in various areas of religious life, including ritual, gender, sexuality, music, and material culture. The book shows that emotional life is profoundly shaped by religion, and that religion, in turn, directs and reinforces the construction of emotional ideologies having to do with a wide array of behaviors. In addition, it addresses specific emotions such as ecstasy, love, terror, hate, melancholy, and hope.

Keywords: religion; emotion; religious movements; sexuality; music; love; hate; gender

Article.  5142 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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