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Tastes of the DivineHindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion$
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Michelle Voss Roberts

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257386

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257386.001.0001

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(p.181) 9 Wonder
Tastes of the Divine

Michelle Voss Roberts

Fordham University Press

An affective experience of wonder arises in encounters with religious others. In defense of the authority such encounters might hold for Christian life, this chapter gestures toward a Christian theology of religious pluralism that appreciates both the incomprehensibility of otherness and the affect it awakens. Three categories from the classical Indian aesthetic theory guide this aesthetics of religious pluralism: the aesthetic emotion of wonder (adbhuta rasa), the sympathetic spectator (sahṛdaya), and transitory or nurturing emotional states (vyabhicāribhāvas or sañcāribhāvas). Wonder partakes of the ethical ambivalence that attends the aesthetic emotions generally. As a theology of religious pluralism struggles to find language and rationality, it must remain open to the mystery of the other and of the divine.

Keywords:   Theology of Religious Pluralism, Theology of Religions, Wonder, Adbhuta rasa, Sympathetic spectator, Sahṛdaya, Vyabhicāribhāva, Sañcāribhāva

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