‘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.