Faith and Philosophy 28 (1):93-101 (2011)
What is the best model of emotion if we are to reach a good understanding of the role of emotion in religious life? I begin by setting out a simple model of emotion, based on a paradigm emotional experience of fear of an immediate threat in one’s environment. I argue that the simple model neglects many of the complexities of our emotional lives, including in particular the complexities that one finds with the intellectual emotions. I then discuss how our dispositions to have these kinds of emotions, which are part of what it is to be a virtuous intellectual enquirer, are subject to vicissitudes, in particular brought about by depression, apathy and other damaging changes to our psychic economy. These changes can flatten affect, so that one’s intellectual life goes cold on one. Finally, I commend the idea of applying this model of intellectual emotion onto religious emotion
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