Emotion & Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm, Pt 3. A Moral Motive Analysis

Volume
Volume 35
Issue
Winter 2007
Title
Emotion & Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm, Pt 3. A Moral Motive Analysis
Abstract

Meaning-system analyses presently dominate the literature on religious conversion and spiritual transformation (Paloutzian & Park, 2005). To complement (not contradict) meaning-system analyses this three-article series proposes the construction of a new approach to the study of the affective basis of spiritual transformation, moral motive analysis. The objective of this final article is to outline a specific moral motive analysis of transformation, a "€œsocial intuitionist"€ (Haidt, 2001) approach that both complements and elaborates the theological tradition of orthokardia (Runyon, 1998). This article first summarizes the central hermeneutic and defining features of orthodardia, and then relates them to concepts in contemporary moral motivation theory. Second, following the Murphy-MacIntyrean framework (telos, problem, purpose), it proposes three core postulates concerning the role of moral emotions in spiritual transformation: moral telos as emerging love and the capable character; moral problem as the duplicitous heart and diminished capacity to love; and moral process as implicit relational transformation. Collectively, these postulates delineate an approach to relational affect transformation (virtue-acquisition and vice-diminishment) that is consistent with the sensibilities of Aristotelean virtue ethics (MacIntyre, 1984), contemporary moral motive theory (Emmons & McCullough, 2004), and the apophatic approach to change (Jones, 2002), thus providing a metapsychology of implicit relational spirituality for theory, research, and practice.

Author
Dr. G.M. Leffel
Pages
298 - 316
Price
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