Theology, Anti-Theology and Atheology
From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions
This dissertation is based upon an article with a similar
title published in Modern Theology 15 (1999), pp. 297-330. It is a
summary of research undertaken for my Ph.D. thesis, From Passions and
Affections to Emotions: A Case-Study in Christian and Scientific Psychologies,
1714-1903, which investigates the theological and scientific dimensions of
the history of ideas about emotions. The Modern Theology article, and my
ESSSAT dissertation especially focus on the conclusions that may be drawn from
this case-study in the history of psychological thought about the relationships
that hold between Christian theology and the natural and human sciences.
In the essay the nineteenth-century emergence of the concept
of emotions in English-language psychology, especially in works by the
Scottish thinkers Thomas Brown and Alexander Bain, and the concomitant neglect
of older, theological categories of passions and affections of the
soul and moral sentiments is considered as an example of the displacement
of Christian theologies of the soul by secular and scientific psychologies.
Several morals about science and theology are drawn from this case-study.
Contributed by: Thomas Dixon