Affective Dynamics of Public Discourse on Religious Recognition in Secular Societies
Scheve, Christian von; Walter-Jochum, Robert – 2019
Debates about the status and recognition of religious minorities in contemporary Western societies frequently evoke the notion of “religious feelings”, although it is hardly ever clear what these feelings are and who actually experiences them. Drawing on analyses of selected debates in German public discourse, this chapter proposes a theoretical and methodological approach to understand invocations of religious feelings primarily as elements of the affective dynamics of public discourse on religious recognition in secular societies. Departing from the links between language, recognition, and affect, and drawing on existing studies on (the political manufacture of) religious feelings and injury, the chapter suggests four analytical perspectives to understand the affective dynamics of public discourse: the uses of emotion words and concepts in language, the recourse to religious feelings as a novel kind of discourse operating beyond the established political language, varieties of hate speech, and the phenomenal experience of feelings and emotions.