This book describes a ubiquitous and potent emotion that has only rarely and recently been studied in any systematic manner. The words that come closest to denoting it in English are being moved or touched, having a heart-warming feeling, feeling nostalgic, feeling patriotic, or pride in family or team. In religious contexts when the emotion is intense, it may be labeled ecstasy, mystical rapture, burning in the bosom, or being touched by the Spirit. All of these are instances of what scientists now call ‘kama muta’ (Sanskrit, ‘moved by love’). Alan Page Fiske shows that what evokes this emotion is the sudden creation, intensification, renewal, repair, or recall of a communal sharing relationship – when love ignites, or people feel newly connected. He explains the social, psychological, cultural, and likely evolutionary processes involved – and how they interlock.
Kama muta is described as it manifests in diverse settings at many points in history across scores of cultures, in everyday experiences as well as the peak moments of life. The chapters illuminate the occurrence of kama muta in a range of contexts, including religion, oratory, literature, sport, social media, and nature. The book will be of interest to students and scholars from a number of disciplines who are interested in emotion or social relationships.
Supplementary notes can be found online at: www.routledge.com/9780367220945
Table of Contents
Part I: The Feeling
Chapter 1: Cuteness and Cosmos
Chapter 2: The Sensations
Chapter 3: Universal Narrative Prototypes of Reunion, Culturally Adapted to Evoke Kama Muta
Part II: The Basic Theory, and Everyday Experiences
Chapter 4: Homo movens: What Evokes Kama Muta Experiences, and What Motives Emerge?
Chapter 5: Compassion, Heroism, and Victory
Chapter 6: Strategic Evocation of Kama Muta
Part III: Getting Deeper Into It
A Pivotal Idea: Kama Muta Is a Long-run Cause of the Cultural Practices that Evoke It
Chapter 7: How Not to Reify Words
Chapter 8: The Arts of Kama Muta
Chapter 9: Disasters, Memorials, and Mementos
Chapter 10: The Kama Muta Experience Is Generated by A Culturally Tuned Psychological Mechanism, The Psype
Part IV: Religion
Chapter 11: Mystical Religious Experiences
Chapter 12: Hinduism and Buddhism
Chapter 13: Islam
Chapter 14: Kama Muta in Pilgrimage and Pain
Chapter 15: Millennia of Meanings of Christian Tears
Chapter 16: The Locus of Kama Muta in Religion
Part V: The Big Picture
Chapter 17: Psychological, Social, Cultural, and Evolutionary Dynamics of Kama Muta
Chapter 18: The Joys of Knowing Kama Muta
Chapter 19: The Adventures of the Unknown
Glossary of Theoretical Constructs
Alan Page Fiske is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.