The interplay between activity and passivity in religious practices in general, and religious beliefs and emotions in particular, is a central and controversial issue in philosophical theological and psychological thought. For many, religion is not merely logos and ethos but also, and importantly so, pathos; not merely (if at all) knowledge and morality but above all affect, emotion, passion and feeling. However, is the pathos-dimension of religion to be conceived as feeling, affect or emotion at all, or is it more like Schleiermacher's 'feeling of absolute dependence', which is not an emotion but that which grounds all emotion, cognition, and action? Does religion have a single emotional center? Are there specific religious emotions or spiritual affects as Plato (divine madness), Luther and Calvin (fear, awe love), R Otto (mysterium tremendum et facinans) or R Holland ('oceanic' feeling) have thought? Or are religious fear, religious love. and religious joy only the normal emotions of fear, love, and joy directed to a religious object, as William James has argued? But then how do religious emotions differ from 'ordinary' emotions?
These and related questions will be addressed in sessions on (religious) passions, affects and emotions in the rhetorical and empirical traditions, on feeling, dependence and passivity, on active and passive aspects of religious imagination, spiritual emotions and a number of other related topics. Speakers will include Arne Groen (Copenhagen), Jamie Ferreira (Charlottesville), Michael Moxter (Hamburg), Robert C. Roberts (Boulder). Philipp Stoellger (Rostock).
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