The Religious Dimension of Ordinary Human Emotions

Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 25 (1):35-53 (2005)
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Abstract

UNDERSTANDING HOW EMOTIONS ARE COMPOSED AS MENTAL STATES can help us understand the access many people have to their own emotions. It also can help us understand how people might increase this access and make more effective use of it in their efforts to become more free and responsible in their emotional lives. This essay focuses on some forms of cognition that enter into the composition of at least some emotional states. It shows how thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, intuitions, and questions that are arguably religious can condition the ways in which people construe objects and events in their lives and thus the ways in which they form emotional responses to those objects and events. The essay takes its bearings from the work of James Gustafson and Martha Nussbaum.

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