Consolation - An Unrecognized Emotion?

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Although consolation is one of the classic religious subjects it plays no role in the current debate about religious emotions. One reason for this neglect could be that this debate is mostly based on classical emotions such as joy and fear, love and hope, and that consolation is not understood as an emotion. This paper tries to show that consolation in fact can and should be seen as an emotion. After naming and refuting some reasons that speak against taking consolation to be an emotion, I will explain how consolation can be positively conceptualized as an emotion within a recent theory of emotions. It will be decisive to see that the experience of consolation can be understood not only hedonistically-qualitatively, but also intentionally. This structural conception allows for a differentiated description of various types of consolation as an emotion, also, in the tradition of William James, of a secular as well as a religious form of consolation.
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Archival date: 2018-03-14
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