Varieties of love in Plato, Jesus, Ibn ‘Arabi and other mystics. Jane Clark & Mark Vernon

An audio version of the talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds.

It is often noted that the ancient Greeks had an advantage in possessing several words for love. Eros, philia, agape and others allowed them to be nuanced about love and navigate its differences. So is there benefit in considering how love has been understood in different wisdom traditions, too?

This conversation, hosted by the Pari Center, explores how love has been understood in various faith contexts and across time, looking at Christian, Sufi, Platonic and other insights. The aim will be to tease out similarities and differences so as to deepen and refresh the felt presence of love in our lives.

Jane Clark is a teacher and independent researcher who has been studying the Islamic mystical tradition for more than forty years. She is a Senior Research Fellow of the Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabi Society, and also the editor of Beshara Magazine.

For more on Mark Vernon –

00:03:29 Four kinds of ancient Greek love
00:09:13 Four kinds of love within Islam
00:15:34 Love and spiritual paths in Neoplatonism
00:25:34 Love and the Sufi path
00:32:48 Love and suffering within Christianity
00:38:20 The fire of love in Ibn ‘Arabi and Dante
00:40:56 Is creation God’s act of love in Plato and Christianity
00:46:57 God making a hidden treasure known in Sufism
00:52:20 Is God love? Is God beauty?
00:57:13 The unconditional love of God
00:58:30 Charity, pastoralia and hospitality
01:03:58 The imperative for sacrificial love after the Reformation
01:10:30 Devotion, love of saints and idolatry
01:13:43 Attitudes to sex and sin across traditions
01:19:07 Attitudes to friendship across traditions
01:26:23 What about love and suffering?
01:32:38 Is there hope in collective movements of love?