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Emotion, Ritual and Rules of Feeling in the Study of Digital Religion

Hutchings, Tim


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Assistant Professorin Religious Ethics


Alphia Possamai-Inesedy

Alan Nixon


This chapter will attempt to encourage greater engagement with emotion among scholars of digital religion by introducing two theoretical approaches. In the first half of the chapter, we will consider the place of emotion in the study of ritual, beginning with the work of Emile Durkheim on the origins ofthe sacred (1912) and Randall Collins’ theory of interaction rituals (2004). We will use these ideas to analyse online religious ritual and the circulations of re-ligious content through social media. In the second half, we will turn our attention to the social rules that govern how emotion is felt and expressed,considering Arlie Hochschild’s ‘feeling rules’ (1983) and the concept of religious ‘emotional regimes’ developed by Ole Riis and Linda Woodhead (2010). We will apply these ideas to the rules and norms of online religious communities, including the breaking of those norms by trolls and protestors.


Hutchings, T. (2019). Emotion, Ritual and Rules of Feeling in the Study of Digital Religion. In A. Possamai-Inesedy, & A. Nixon (Eds.), The Digital SocialDe Gruyter

Acceptance Date Aug 5, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 20, 2019
Publicly Available Date
Publisher De Gruyter
Series Title Religion and society
Series Number 69
Book Title The Digital Social
Chapter Number 5
ISBN 9783110499872
Keywords emotion; ritual; digital religion
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