Love as Common Ground
Essays on Love in Religion
This book explores the way in which the study and practice of love creates a common ground for different faiths and different traditions within the same faith. For the contributors, “common ground” in this context is not a minimal core of belief or a lowest common denominator of faith, but a space or area in which to live together, consider together the meaning of the love to which various faiths witness, and work together to enable human flourishing. Such a space, the contributors believe, is possible because it is the place of encounter with the divine. This book is the fruit of a Project for the Study of Love in Religion which aims to create this space in which different traditions of love converge, from Islam, Judaism, and the Christianity of both East and West. Tools employed by the contributors in exploring this space of love include exegesis of ancient texts, theology, accounts of mystical experience, philosophy, and evolutionary science of the human. Insights about human and divine love that emerge include its nature as a form of knowing, its sacrificial and erotic dimensions, its inclination towards beauty, its making of community and its importance for a just political and economic life.