The Ethic of Spirituality and the Non-Angry Subject

Dalit Simchai, Avihu Shoshana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is based on ethnographic studies of several spiritual groups in Israel. It offers a critical analysis of the discursive practices employed with regard to the link between spirituality and anger. We found that the emotion of anger occupies a singular status in New Age culture. By marking it as an uncontrollable and explosive emotion, anger is constructed as a key emotion that reflects and signifies the subject's proximity to the ideal spiritual personality. Our findings furthermore reveal two main emotion pedagogies employed to construct anger and to cope with it. In the discussion section, we address the affinity between the spiritual ethic and the nonangry subject, and the alliance between the spiritual, the therapeutic and the neo-liberal discourses that sustains this affinity. This discursive alliance stands in the way of the adoption of critical cultural orientations toward the emotion of anger. [spirituality, emotions, anger, subjectivity, discursive alliance, emotion pedagogies].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-133
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the American Anthropological Association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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