July 19 2024

Mood, Emotion, and Affect in Hindu and Christian Theologies

Michelle Voss Roberts interviewed by Kristian Petersen

What can study of the beliefs and practices of one tradition bring to bear on another? Michelle Voss Roberts, associate professor of theology at Wake Forest University's divinity school, discusses how ethnographic study of Indian and South Asian Hindu rituals and aesthetics can bring new theological space to explore Christian practice. Using the Indian framework of "rasa," loosely defined as emotion or taste, Roberts suggests that Christian scholars, theologians, and practitioners can reexamine and experience the Divine through mood and affect. Robert's 2014 book, Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (Fordham University Press), won the American Academy of Religion's 2015 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion for constructive-reflective studies.