Guilt and the Science of Emotion: How Does Prayer Fit?
This article engages sources regarding evolutionary development of guilt (Richard Joyce's The Evolution of Morality, Jesse Prinz's Gut Reactions, and others) and how they can be used to dialogue with material on the alleviation of guilt in the Christian tradition using examples in the work of Anselm of Canterbury and John Chrysostom. This raises a few key questions. If guilt is an evolutionary trait created to build reputation and relationship, how does this mesh with some theological approaches to solutions for guilt? To be more precise, guilt possibly evolved to create a motivation for beneficial communal actions, and necessitates belief in the authority of the rules that one breaks to induce it. That said, does religion play a role in awareness of one's guilt, while also providing a solution to that guilt? The possibilities are explored in this article as they relate to issues of repentance, atonement, and prayer.
Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
DOI of Published Version
Tsakiridis, George, "Guilt and the Science of Emotion: How Does Prayer Fit?" (2013). History, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion Faculty Publications. 6.