n HTS : Theological Studies - Spiritual emotions : A psychology of Christian virtues, R.C. Roberts : book review

Volume 64, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



The reader of quickly realizes that Roberts is steeped in classical theism that confines his arguments to a prerational mythological stage of the evolution of human consciousness. Besides questionable Biblical references, Roberts uses personal anecdotes and often refers to Leo Tolstoy and Feodor Dostoyevsky as support for his arguments about Christian emotions. The book is divided into three sections : I. A Christian psychology of emotions, II. The Christian passion, III. Christian emotion-virtues. He dedicates chapters to contrition, joy, gratitude, hope, peace and compassion to guide his readers through the emotional maze. Roberts refers to the three recent revolutions in psychology and ethics to showcase his understanding of Christian emotions : 1. Ethics has turned psychological. In 1958 the Christian philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe "pointed out that the only legitimate basis for the ought-rules was God." (p 6) She proposed that ethicists should think about virtues as human traits like justice, generosity, truthfulness and compassion. 2. Psychology has turned ethical. 3. Both psychology and ethics have turned emotional.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error