Lecture by Rabbi Prof Naftali Rothenberg:
Love Philosophy & Praxis in the Teachings of Rabbi Akiva
A lecture for ‘The Study of Love in Religion’ (sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation)
Monday June 12 at 5.00 pm in Regent’s Park College, Oxford OX1 2LB
Rabbi Akiva was one of the greatest sages of the Mishnaic period, if not the greatest. His legendary figure, leadership, halakhic method and thought occupy a central place throughout the rabbinic literature redacted over a period of centuries. The image of Rabbi Akiva that the Mishnah and Talmud present is that of the sage of love par excellence, with far-reaching implications regarding the place of the wisdom of love in the Jewish canon as a whole.
He first appeared in a love story in the legends; rescued the quintessential love song, Song of Songs from oblivion; developed an entire philosophy—and practice—of marital harmony; saw love between man and woman as a sacred perfection of body, mind and spirit; asserted that “love your fellow as yourself” is the great principle from which all morality derives; preached love for all who were created in God’s image; and fulfilled the commandment to love God with every fibre of his being, loving Him with all his heart, soul and might, even when all was taken from him—an expression of love to the last breath. His ideas, theories and praxis laid a foundation for the study of the wisdom of love.
Naftali Rothenberg is a Senior Research Fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, and has published extensively on love in Jewish canonical literature. His forthcoming book: Rabbi Akiva’s Philosophy of Love will be published during summer 2017 by Palgrave-Macmillan. The book was completed in two winter-periods in the programme of ‘Law and Religion’ and the Project of ‘Love in Religion’ at Regent’s Park College at Oxford.
We are delighted to announce that several of the papers given at our International Consultation ‘Love in Religion: The Cutting-Edge Issues’, which took place in November 2016 at Regent’s Park College, are now available on this website, in our ‘Resources’ section.
These papers represent the insights of scholars from a range of religious traditions and academic disciplines, all responding to the question ‘What do you believe to be the “frontier” or “cutting-edge” research issues on the topic of the place of love – both divine and human – in religion, as seen from the perspective of your particular discipline?’
We will be posting more papers in the coming weeks – watch this space!
We are very pleased to announce that Prof. HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Prof. Paul Fiddes will be both be speaking at an event to mark the launch of Prince Ghazi’s new book, A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam: The Essence of Islam in Twelve Verses from the Quran. Continue reading “Book launch and discussion at Waterstones, London – Piccadilly on 27 March, 7-8.30pm.”
The International Consultation on ‘Love in Religion: The Cutting-Edge Issues’ was held at Regent’s Park College, on 9-12 November 2016, with generous support from the John Templeton Foundation.
The Project’s purpose of this consultation was to bring together leading scholars from a
variety of disciplinary and religious backgrounds to identify the cutting-edge issues within the topic of love in religion Continue reading “International Consultation on ‘Love in Religion: The Cutting-Edge Issues’”
The Language of the Human and the Language of Love: A Dialogue Between Neuroscience and Religion was held at Regent’s Park College on the 15th of October 2016. This colloquium was part of a two-day event held jointly by King’s College London and the Project for the Study of Love in Religion. Continue reading “The Language of the Human and the Language of Love”
Love in Classical Islamic Texts: A Day Consultation held in Oxford on 5 December 2016.
Continue reading “Love in Classical Islamic Texts”