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The Role Of Emotion In Religion

Abraham is recognized as the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Wikimedia Commons/ Web Gallery of Art
Abraham is recognized as the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Emotions are an important part of religious life for many people. Individuals often describe a feeling or sense of passion during a religious practice even if they cannot name the feeling.  

The academic study of religion and emotion is surging, but scholars are still struggling to find ways to measure and describe this phenomenon. Is emotion biological? Is it cultural? What can the study of emotion in religion tell us about religious intolerance or violence?

Host Frank Stasio talks with three scholars convening for a conference on religion and emotion at the National Humanities Centerin Durham. John Corrigan is a professor of religion and history at Florida State University and a fellow at the National Humanities Center; Sarah Rossis an ethnomusicologist and anthropologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland; and Donovan Schaefer is a scholar of religion at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Some sessions of the conference are open to the public. To reserve a seat contact John Corrigan at 

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.