Chapter

Love and Attention

Janet Martin Soskice

in The Kindness of God

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780198269502
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683657 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269502.003.0002
Love and Attention

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This chapter starts by providing an account of the connection of love and attention in Iris Murdoch's philosophical classic Sovereignty of the Good. The book says that prayer is simply an attention to God, which is a form of love. The chapter also introduces the concept of the ‘Good’ and the ‘Beautiful’ by Plato and Aristotle. The second section of the chapter interprets the phrase ‘spiritual life’. It speaks of a ‘received view’ of spiritual life as involving long periods of quiet, focused reflection, dark churches, and dignified liturgies. It also considers Gregory of Nyssa's influential treatise On Virginity. The chapter argues that to be fully human and to be fully moral is to respond to that which demands our response — the other, attended with love.

Keywords: Sovereignty of the Good; attention; Iris Murdoch; ‘Good’; spiritual life; received view; Gregory of Nyssa; On Virginity

Chapter.  8692 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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