Religion, Emotion, and the Double Self

John Corrigan

in Business of the Heart

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780520221963
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924321 | DOI:
Religion, Emotion, and the Double Self

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Religion and emotion are historically linked not only in the Protestant past of the United States, but in many religious traditions, in cultures all over the globe. This book is about religion and emotion, a history of the “Businessmen's Revival” in Boston in 1858. It explores culturally constructed standards for emotional life as they were articulated in newspapers, magazines, sermons, and literature. It narrates the emotional lives of people as recoverable from diaries, correspondences, and other sources. Individual emotions such as love, at other times on meta-emotion, and at other times on conceptualizations of emotion itself are also accounted. The Businessmen's Revival was an affirmation of collective identity, the assertion of white Protestant identity vis-à-vis other groups. Boston's Protestants objectified emotion, and made the expression of emotion a matter of transaction. The irresistible logic of each of the two competing views of the self—as spiritual and emotional subject—in the end required that the self be both. In a demonstration of their investment in the notion of a double self, Protestants in Boston conceived emotion as spiritually sublime at the same time that they placed it on the bargaining table before God in the late 1850s.

Keywords: religion; double self; Protestant identity; revival in Boston; Businessmen's Revival; Boston's Protestants

Chapter.  4724 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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