Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience

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Judaism and Emotion breaks with stereotypes that, until recently, branded Judaism as a rigid religion of laws and prohibitions. Instead, authors from different fields of research discuss the subject of Judaism and emotion from various scholarly perspectives; they present an understanding of Judaism that does not exclude spirituality and emotions from Jewish thought. In doing so, the contributions account for the relation between the representation of emotion and the actual emotions that living and breathing human beings feel in their everyday lives. While scholars of rabbinic studies and theology take a historical-critical and socio-historical approach to the subject, musicologists and scholars of religious studies focus on the overall research question of how the literary representations of emotion in Judaism are related to ritual and musical performances within Jewish worship. They describe in a more holistic fashion how Judaism serves to integrate various aspects of social life. In doing so, they examine the dynamic interrelationship between Judaism, cognition, and culture.