Publication details [#12853]

Dixon, Thomas. 1999. Theology, Anti-Theology and Atheology: From Christian Passions to Secular Emotions. Modern Theology 15 (3) : 297–330. 34 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Blackwell Publishers Ltd


The article investigates the theological and scientific dimensions of the history of ideas about emotions. The author re-evaluates the methodology of Milbank and Webster, who both describe the rise of scientific accounts of social and mental realities as being either theology or anti-theology “in disguise”, suggesting the category of “atheology”. Using this term, he describes the emergence of the secular concept of ‘emotions’ through atheological texts which are not merely theology or anti-theology “in disguise”, but are a novel form of discourse. This discourse is alienated from the assumptions and metaphors of traditional theologies but it is not necessarily atheistic or anti-theological.