The subject of love is of enormous importance to our daily lives and yet it is a theme that is underdeveloped in contemporary research. As Jean-Luc Marion points out, love is the root of philosophy – the love of wisdom. One cannot open a novel or tragedy without encountering love as a driving force. But in spite of its pervasive presence in multiple disciplines, love has been suppressed within academic conversations because of its connotation with popular culture. Ironically, it has been neglected because it is so important to the majority of the population. This conference will consolidate new research being done on love and disseminate this research across disciplinary boundaries and across the boundaries of academic and popular culture.
Love is a perennial theme in literature and has been used to theorize the relationships between readers and what they read as well as between readers and other people.. Love is also, without doubt, one of the main themes in Christian theology. John’s loving God and the ethics of love within Pauline corpus have made a huge impact on Christian thinking, being crucial to theologians from Augustine to Barth. Love has also been part of the philosophical tradition from Plato’s discussion of eros onwards and a dominating theme of philosophy until the advent of modernity. However, as modern philosophy became dominated by epistemology, in part because of its relationship to science, the interest in love dropped.
An important purpose of this conference is therefore to pave way for, reinstate, and shed light on a phenomenon which is a crucial turning point in the lives of human beings.