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Attracting the HeartSocial Relations and the Aesthetics of Emotion in Sri Lankan Monastic Culture$
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Jeffrey Samuels

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833855

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833855.001.0001

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Aesthetics of Emotions and Affective Bonds

Aesthetics of Emotions and Affective Bonds

Monastic Recruitment in Two Sri Lankan Villages

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Aesthetics of Emotions and Affective Bonds
Source:
Attracting the Heart
Author(s):

Jeffrey Samuels

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833855.003.0002

This chapter examines the roles that aesthetics and affective bonds play in influencing and determining the kinds of lifelong choices that people make toward the sangha and society. It posits that seeing and hearing have the potential to trigger particular religious responses, including the desire to become a full-fledged member of the Buddhist sangha. In addition to complementing existing scholarship that assesses why young children become novices, the focus on the language of emotion relating to monastic recruitment results in two key theoretical points. First, it is argued that, far from being understood as blind surges of affect, emotions are part of a system of ethical reasoning. Second, affective states, as judgments of value about people and things in this world, have an instrumental function: emotions are not merely internal subjective states but also serve to inform and determine the types of lifestyle choices that families and young children make.

Keywords:   aesthetics, affective bonds, sangha, Buddhist monks, Buddhism, monastic recruitment, emotions, ethical reasoning

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