For a Kinder, Gentler Society
A Rhapsody of Love and Spirituality
  • David Fekete
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A Rhapsody of Love and Spirituality.
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Love between man and woman: is it sacred or sinful? A Rhapsody of Love and Spirituality explores Platonic eros, Christian mysticism, friendship, religious ritual, and love as people experience it, turning up startling ironies and paradoxes and, along the way, some traditions we may find worth reclaiming.

How can different models of romance all be so compelling? This survey and comparative analysis of the literary and artistic references that underlie and inspire our notions of love and romance will be useful in college courses on Western Civilization, and is accessible to the educated general public interested in the spiritual ramifications of love, how to live and love well.


About the Author

David Fekete earned a master's degree in Religion and Culture at Harvard University, and a PhD in Religion and Literature from the University of Virginia, where he wrote his dissertation on Eros (love) in T. S. Eliot's poetry.

The current work is a culmination of research conducted by the author at Harvard University and the University of Virginia.

About the Book

Love and spirituality have always been in tension. The fast-evolving modern world has left us no comprehensive cultural traditions to guide us; only what T. S. Eliot calls...

Love and spirituality have always been in tension. The fast-evolving modern world has left us no comprehensive cultural traditions to guide us; only what T. S. Eliot calls "a heap of broken images."

Consider the curious irony of a celibate priest conducting a marriage ceremony between man and wife. Where did such a custom come from? What does it say about sexuality and love?

Can it be that the Puritans were in fact champions for Romance?

This work examines some of our fragmented culture's traditions on erotic love and spirituality, laying bare hidden suppositions and buried or forgotten ideals. Perhaps, mining our cultural past, we can rediscover the keys to the sublime, the exalted, the blessed nature of love.

Drawing on poetry, literature, theology, the Bible, philosophy, and music lyrics, the author creates two categories: Transcendental Platonic Eros (love), and Romantic, personal love, and leads a search for traditions that we may wish to recover, adopt anew, or simply reclaim as we say "yes, that's the way I always thought it should be!"

Includes notes, index and bibliography.


Introduction

In this book, I consider a vast kaleidoscope of humanity’s relation to love: Platonic “Eros,” Christian mysticism, friendship, religious ritual, and sexual love as people experience it. In order to control these topics, I refer them to two categories: Transcendental Platonic “Eros” (love), and Romantic,...

In this book, I consider a vast kaleidoscope of humanity’s relation to love: Platonic “Eros,” Christian mysticism, friendship, religious ritual, and sexual love as people experience it. In order to control these topics, I refer them to two categories: Transcendental Platonic “Eros” (love), and Romantic, personal love. I define these two categories in the first chapter. Then, I select definitive historical texts that relate to one or the other category. I draw on poetry, literature, theology, the Bible, philosophy, and music lyrics.

The book speaks to all lovers — be they scholars or interested readers of less rigorous appetite. By considering definitive texts from various perspectives, this work surveys humanity’s reaction to love and spirituality. The reader may find her or himself resonating with one or another text or tradition. In a time of such great social alienation, the reader may find kinship with a voice from the past, still alive in the present.


Categories

Pages 316
Year: 2003
LC Classification: BD436.F39
Dewey code: 128'.46'09
BISAC: PHI015000
BISAC: PHI010000
Paper
ISBN: 978-0-87586-244-6
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-245-3
Price: USD 28.95
Ebook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-195-1
Price: USD 28.95
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