The Meaning of Love Icon

The Meaning of Love


2015-2016 Research Theme: The Meaning of Love (sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust)

What is love? 

How should love be defined? Is there a distinctly Christian conception of love (for example, an agapic account of love)?

What are the ethical implications of Jesus’s love commands?

And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

What should be made of the Christian notion of enemy love?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."

What can be learned from recent scientific work on love about intentional practices likely to conduce to a loving character?

Researchers in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and other sciences have recently focused on love as a subject of empirical inquiry. What does this imply about the effectiveness of certain practices or attitudes for the formation of loving character?

What light do ethical theories shed on the moral dimensions of love?

What can we learn about love through the lens of moral philosophy? How might normative ethical theories inform our perspective on the nature, practices, and implications of love?

What is the relationship between love and justice?

How might a love-centered ethic shed light on the concepts of benevolence, obligation, rights, virtues, and justice? What is the relationship between love and care?

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