What do some of the great religious traditions of the world teach us today about the nature of love, that most powerful of human emotions? This thoughtful daylong program explores and compares the scriptural, poetic, artistic, and musical expressions of perfect love found in the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions—as well as our modern ideas and experiences.
Comparative religion scholar Graham M. Schweig sheds light on the nature of love and its many varieties—both human and divine--across cultures and across time.
9:30-10:45 a.m. Introduction and Love in Judaism
Is love a culturally constructed emotion or a universally common experience? Ancient Judaism’s philosophical take on the topic.
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Love in Christianity and Islam
What does it mean to be in love with God? What is perfect or pure love? Expressions and philosophical explications from key Christian and Islamic figures.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Lunch (participants provide their own)
1:30-2:45 p.m. Love in Hinduism and Buddhism
Hindu practitioners attain an intimate connection with divinity through passionate love. Buddhist practitioners attain an intimate connection with humanity through compassionate love.
3-4:15 p.m. Erotic Symbolism: Biblical and Bhagavata Expression
The biblical Song of Songs and the story of Krishna’s great circle dance of divine love. Demystifying erotic symbolism.
Schweig is a professor of religion at Christopher Newport University.