New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press (2018)

Authors
Stephen Asma
Columbia College Chicago
Abstract
How we feel is as vital to our survival as how we think. This claim, based on the premise that emotions are largely adaptive, serves as the organizing theme of Why We Need Religion. This book is a novel pathway in a well-trodden field of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Stephen Asma argues that, like art, religion has direct access to our emotional lives in ways that science does not. Yes, science can give us emotional feelings of wonder and the sublime--we can feel the sacred depths of nature--but there are many forms of human suffering and vulnerability that are beyond the reach of help from science. Different emotional stresses require different kinds of rescue. Unlike secular authors who praise religion's ethical and civilizing function, Asma argues that its core value lies in its emotionally therapeutic power. No theorist of religion has failed to notice the importance of emotions in spiritual and ritual life, but truly systematic research has only recently delivered concrete data on the neurology, psychology, and anthropology of the emotional systems. This very recent "affective turn" has begun to map out a powerful territory of embodied cognition. Why We Need Religion incorporates new data from these affective sciences into the philosophy of religion. It goes on to describe the way in which religion manages those systems--rage, play, lust, care, grief, and so on. Finally, it argues that religion is still the best cultural apparatus for doing this adaptive work. In short, the book is a Darwinian defense of religious emotions and the cultural systems that manage them.
Keywords religion, philosophy, philosophy of religion, evolution, stephen asma, emotions, affective neuroscience
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book Find it on Amazon.com
ISBN(s) 0190469676
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reason and Emotion.John Macmurray - 1935 - London: D. Appleton-Century Company.
Theory and Empiricism of Religious Evolution : Foundation of a Research Program.Volkhard Krech - 2018 - Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 26 (2):215-263.
Consciousness and Emotions Are Minimized.Horacio Fabrega, Jr - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):736-737.
Consciousness and Emotions Are Minimized.Horacio Fabrega Jr - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):736-737.
A Conception of the Philosophy of Religion.Piotr Moskal - 2008 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 56 (1):221-237.
"Monsters on the Brain: An Evolutionary Epistemology of Horror".Stephen Asma - 2014 - Social Research: An International Quarterly (N.4).
Phenomenology of Religion.Joseph Dabney Bettis - 1969 - New York: Harper & Row.
The Goals of Philosophy of Religion: A Reply to Ireneusz Zieminski.Kirk Lougheed - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (1):187-199.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-03-18

Total views
52 ( #192,153 of 2,411,479 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #21,688 of 2,411,479 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes