Tastes of the Divine

9780823257386: Hardback
Release Date: 16th June 2014

9780823257393: Paperback
Release Date: 16th June 2014

9780823257416: EPUB
Release Date: 16th June 2014

9780823257423: PDF
Release Date: 16th June 2014

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 296

Series Comparative Theology: Thinking Across Traditions

Fordham University Press

Tastes of the Divine

Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion

This book develops a theology of aesthetics and emotion that holds transcendent religious experiences of peace and love accountable to the embodied demands of justice. Through engagement with Indian rasa theory, the book offers a wide range of emotions as “tastes of the divine.”
Hardback / £70.00
Paperback / £21.99
EPUB / £26.00
PDF / £26.00

The intensity and meaningfulness of aesthetic experience have often been described in theological terms. By designating basic human emotions as rasa, a word that connotes taste, flavor, or essence, Indian aesthetic theory conceptualizes emotional states as something to be savored. At their core, emotions can be tastes of the divine. In this book, the methods of the emerging discipline of comparative theology enable the author’s appreciation of Hindu texts and practices to illuminate her Christian reflections on aesthetics and emotion.

Three emotions vie for prominence in the religious sphere: peace, love, and fury. Whereas Indian theorists following Abhinavagupta claim that the aesthetic emotion of peace best approximates the goal of religious experience, devotees of Krishna and medieval Christian readings of the Song of Songs argue that love communicates most powerfully with divinity. In response to the transcendence emphasized in both approaches, the book turns to fury at injustice to attend to emotion’s foundations in the material realm. The implications of this constructive theology of emotion for Christian liturgy, pastoral care, and social engagement are manifold.

Michelle Voss Roberts is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Theology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Her most recent book, Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (Fordham, 2014), received the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence in Constructive/Reflective Studies.

“This work is an important contribution to the current landscape of comparative theology—where deep learning is taking place across religious lines—as it moves the discourse forward by incorporating both critical analysis and embodied practices.”

—Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Fordham University

The main thrust of her argument, and indeed the most delightful part of her book, comes toward the end in the section on 'Tastes of the Divine.

—C.A. Barnsley. Transylvania University
Choice Connect

American Academy of Religion's Award for Excellence, Constructive-Reflective Studies - 2015

Winner