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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the place of love—of human towards humans or towards God, and of God towards humans—in the Abrahamic traditions. Christianity frequently presented itself as a religion of love, as opposed to ‘loveless’ Judaism and Islam. However, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have all used love to imagine, contest, and represent relations both proper and improper between and among created beings and divine creator; and all three religions have also used love to imagine their relation to each other (as well as to other religions), and to represent the stakes in their competing claims to truth. Although claims of love animate many Abrahamic ethical, social, and onto-theological ideals, the same claims underpin many of the sectarian dynamics and discriminations through which religious communities distinguished themselves from one another. The chapter focuses on various types of love from the Hebrew Bible and Quran to medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophers.

Keywords: love, lovelessness, lovingkindness, passion, ahava, Maimonides, Nachmanides, maḥabbah, mawadda, ʿishq

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