Emotions have moved center stage in many contemporary debates over religious diversity and multicultural recognition. As in other contested fields, emotions are often one-sidedly discussed as quintessentially subjective and individual phenomena, neglecting their social and cultural constitution. Moreover, emotionality in these debates is frequently attributed to the religious subject alone, disregarding the affective anatomy of the secular. This volume addresses these shortcomings, bringing into conversation a variety of disciplinary perspectives on religious and secular affect and emotion. The volume emphasizes two analytical perspectives: on the one hand, chapters take an immanent perspective, focusing on subjective feelings and emotions in relation to the religious and the secular. On the other hand, chapters take a relational perspective, looking at the role of affect and emotion in how the religious and the secular constitute one another. These perspectives cut across the three main parts of the volume: the first one addressing historical intertwinements of religion and emotion, the second part emphasizing affects, emotions, and religiosity, and the third part looking at specific sensibilities of the secular. The thirteen chapters provide a well-balanced composition of theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches to these areas of inquiry, discussing both historical and contemporary cases.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Affect and Emotion in Multi-Religious Secular Societies; Part I: Historical Intertwinements of Religion and Emotion; 2. Feeling Empty: Religious and Secular Collaborations; 3. Emotion and the Popularization of Anti-Jewish Discourse in Early Modern Europe; 4. Guilt or Masked Shame? Reinhold Niebuhr’s Diagnosis of the Christian Self: Disclosing Affect and its Contribution to Violence; Part II: Affects, Emotions, and Religiosity; 5. From Serene Certainty to the Paranoid Insecurity of Salvation: Remarks on Resentment in the Current Muslim Culture; 6. The Practice of Vision: Sufi Aesthetics in Everyday Life; 7. Religious Emotions in Christian Events; 8. On Conversion: Affecting Secular Bodies; 9. The Metaphorics of Indescribable Feelings in Contemporary Christian Contexts; Part III: Sensibilities of the Secular; 10. Disembedded Religion and the Infinity of References: Violated Sentiments and Threatened Identities; 11. Secular Excitement and Academic Practice; 12. The Secular Experiment: Science, Feeling, and Atheist Apocalypticism; 13. Feeling Freedom of Speech: Secular Affects in Public Debates after Charlie Hebdo.
Christian von Scheve is professor of sociology at Freie Universität Berlin.
Anna Lea Berg is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
Meike Haken is research associate of the Collaborative Research Center Affective Societies working in a project on "Audience Emotions in Sports and Religion" at Technische Universität Berlin.
Nur Yasemin Ural is a post-doctoral researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin.