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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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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Aesthetics of Emotions and Affective Bonds

Aesthetics of Emotions and Affective Bonds

Monastic Recruitment in Two Sri Lankan Villages

(p.21) 2 Aesthetics of Emotions and Affective Bonds
Attracting the Heart

Jeffrey Samuels

University of Hawai'i Press

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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