Andrew Tallon

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195170214
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199892150 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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This essay explores philosophical and theological frameworks for the development in Christianity of notions of “head” religion and “heart” religion. Such notions are the product of a complex and sustained historical interplay of ideas about the soul, body, matter, spirit, thinking, acting, and feeling. While not exclusively the province of Christianity, ideologies of head and heart in religion nevertheless have developed distinctive forms within the Christian cultures of the West, changing over time and leading, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, to an engagement with scientific theories of emotion. In discussing head and heart, this essay focuses on Apollo, the Greek god of reason, and Dionysius, son of Zeus and Bacchus. The essay also looks at representative key historical figures and their theories, namely, Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine as well as Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Edmund Husserl.

Keywords: Christianity; head religion; heart religion; soul; body; Apollo; Dionysius; Plato; Aristotle

Article.  6529 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion ; Christianity

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