Julius Rubin

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


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Max Weber's concept of religious ethos proves important to the study of religion and emotion. Through the concept of religious ethos, Weber developed a structural phenomenology of religious experience, emotion, personality, and life-order. In the spirit of Max Weber, this article investigates a variety of religious ethics and their affinity with melancholy. These ethics include inner-worldly asceticism (Protestant evangelical pietism), other-worldly asceticism (Christian monasticism), and inner-worldly mysticism (apophaticism and quietism among Christian mystics, in Hasidism, and in Sufism). The discussion proceeds using Weber's concept of the ideal type, where each religious ethos is articulated with clarity and precision, in a logically consistent form that accentuates or exaggerates certain aspects of religious experience and expression. In this manner, ideal types create “logical utopias” that are not intended realistically to describe or to depict, photographically, the lived religion of peoples in concrete settings.

Keywords: Max Weber; religious ethics; melancholy; asceticism; pietism; apophaticism; quietism; ideal types; logical utopias

Article.  9218 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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