Self-sacrificing love and love of the self: an enduring conundrum

An Inter-Faith Consultation for St Valentine’s Eve and Day
Thursday 13 February – Friday 14 February

Papers given at the event:

Sacrifice and the self: a Christian mystery of love
Dr Julia Meszaros, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland.

A Feminist Reading of Turkish Muslim philosopher Hilmi Ziya Ülken on sacrificial love and the self  
Dr Taraneh Wilkinson, Georgetown University, Washington

The Quest for God and the Question of Desire
Prof. Fiona Elllis, Roehampton University, London

Self-sacrificial love and the flourishing of the self in disability ethics 
Dr Ellie McLaughlin, Regent’s Park College, Oxford

The Journey of Love and the Challenges of “The Self”. Rumi’s View in Islamic Context. Dr Leyla Tajer, Independent Scholar, Malaysia.
Paper available at:

Love as empathy in Process thought and Confucianism: a comparative approach
Dr Jiran Wang, Hunan University, People’s Republic of China

Sex, Love and Religion: Freudian insights 
Dr Alistair Ross, Kellogg College, Oxford. 

Film: “Complete Surrender”. Five contemporary artists discover two female mystics (Marguerite Porete and Hadewijch of Brabant) who help them to understand what love is.
Directed and introduced by Dr Louise Nelstrop, followed by discussion.

Love in Business and Economics

Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture
Project for the Study of Love in Religion

Love in Business and Economics

A Brain-storming Seminar
Regent’s Park College, Oxford: Friday 29 November 2019 at 3.00 pm

A briefing paper with proposed areas of investigation was produced for this seminar, and may be obtained by clicking here.


Dr. Isabella Bunn, Research Fellow in Governance and Global Ethics, and Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, Regent’s Park College, Oxford; Member of the International Advisory Council, Oxford Analytica; American Bar Association Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and member of the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

Revd Dr Richard Turnbull, Director of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics, Oxford, and a trustee of the Christian Institute.

Revd. Professor Paul S. Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Oxford; Leader of the Project for the Study of Love in Religion; Principal Emeritus, Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

Professor Paul WellerProfessor and Leader of the Culture, Religion and Belief Research Group at the University of Coventry; Emeritus Professor, University of Derby; Research Fellow in Religion and Society, Regent’s Park College, Oxford; Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture.

Professor Hugh Whittaker, Professor in the Economy and Business of Japan, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, Oxford. 

Dr. Demetri Kantarelis, Professor of Economics, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Revd Dr Frank Turner, S.J., Fellow in Political Theology, Campion Hall, Oxford; Superior of the Jesuit Community and Delegate of the Province for the Intellectual Apostolate; formerly Fellow at the Jesuit European Social Centre, Brussels.

Dr Séverine Deneulin, Senior Lecturer in Economics and International Development, Department of Social & Policy Sciences, University of Bath;  Research Associate of the Laudato Si’ Institute, Campion Hall, Oxford.

Dr. Minlib Dallh, O.P., Fellow in the Study of Love in Religion, University of Oxford. 

Dr. Jiran Wang, Lecturer in Philosophy, Hunan University, P.R. China; Visiting Scholar at the Project for the Study of Love in Religion, Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

Christian and Muslim Accounts of Love in the Eleventh Century

Part of the “Love in Religion” Programme at OxfordRegent’s Park College, Oxford, Tuesday 2 July 2019 

Love and the Self in Byzantine theology: the example of Nicetas Stethatos (c. 1005-1090)
by Smilen Markov, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Patristics, University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Love and mysticism in Sufi Thought: the example of Abdullah Ansari of Herat (1006-1089)
by Minlib Dallh, HRH King Abdullah II Fellow in the Study of Love in Religion, Regent’s Park College, Oxford 

Abdullah Ansari as depicted on a postage stamp from Tajikistan, 2010

Love and Truth in Religion. An Inter-faith exploration of Aristotelian and Platonic Traditions

A Symposium at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford
16-17 November 2018.
Part of the Oxford Project for Love in Religion sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation

Papers given:

HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, Professor of Islamic Philosophy at the University of Jordan and Honorary Fellow of Regent’s Park College, Oxford

Spiritus Ubi Vult Spirat? The Question of Platonism and Islamic Mysticism of Love

Amber L. Griffioen

Margarete von Wrangell Fellow, Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz

Love, Passivity, and Neoplatonic Metaphysics: The Problems (and Promise) of a ‘Mystical Ethics’

Mircea Dumitru
Rector of the University of Bucharest, Professor of Philosophy and formerly Minister of Education, Romania.
The Universal and the Particular: Truth and Love in the Aristotelian Tradition

Fiona Ellis, Professor of Philosophy, Heythrop College, University of London
Desire and the Platonic Tradition

Minlib Dallh, Fellow in the Study of Love in Religion, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford
The Relation between Love and Truth in Islamic Mysticism

Lydia Schumacher
Senior Research Fellow in Medieval Theology and Philosophy, King’s College London.

Love and Truth: Aristotle, Avicenna and Early Franciscans

Daniel Barbu 
Professor and Head of the Research Institute, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest and formerly Minister of Culture, Romania. 
Understanding the relation between Truth and Love in the Western Intellectual Tradition

Simon May, Visiting Professor of Philosophy, King’s College London.
Love as a promise of ontological rootedness

Mirina Paananen, Research Scholar, University of Oxford
Heavenly Melodies: the Hellenistic inheritance of Islamic philosophies of music.  

Otniel Bunaciu, Professor of Theology, University of Bucharest and Dean of the Baptist Faculty

The Near and the Distant Neighbours – Reflecting on Karl Barth’s understanding of the possibility of speaking about the Love of God

Peter Petkoff, Senior Lecturer in Law, Brunel University.    

The setting of Normative Spaces, and Initiation to the Mysteries, in Plato’s Symposion

Rebecca White, Director, Oxford Theological Exchange Programme & Dr Smilen Markov, Professor of Theology, University of Sofia, Bulgaria:
Transfiguring Love in Byzantine Tradition: Maximus the Confessor and 14th-century Hesychasm. 

Martin Whittingham, Research Fellow in Islamic Studies, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford
Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī on knowing truth and how Aristotle plays a part

Love in Religion: Three Helfta Visionaries: Regent’s Park College,

Love in Religion: Three Helfta Visionaries: Regent’s Park College, Oxford, 11th-12th September 2020

It is with regret that due to COVID19, we were left with no choice but had to postpone our conference. It will now take place at Regent’s Park (University of Oxford) on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th September 2021. Up-to-date information will appear on this website next year.

‘You shall love the Lord your God … and you shall love your neighbour as yourself’. This double love command of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Gospels, is the inspiration for a research project running in collaboration with the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan. The project is the context for the appointment of the “H.M. King Abdullah ibn al-Hussein II of Jordan Fellowship for the Study of Love in Religion” at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and the main focus of the post and the project is discovery of the nature of love, divine and human, as ultimate reality.

By drawing on the theological and aesthetic resources of different religious traditions, the aim of the project is to explore the research question: what grounds are there for thinking that love, in religious consciousness and practice today, is the ultimate reality of the universe? The underlying conviction is that a study of the phenomenon of love is, finally, discovery of the nature and activity of God in the world.

The initial phase of the project is supported by the John Templeton Foundation.