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The Nature of Love
March 2, 9, 16, and 23
A four-week reading group through The Nature of Love with Derek Jeffreys.
The group will meet over Zoom on Thursday evenings (March 2, 9, 16, and 23) from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT.
About the Text
In this study on love a new side of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s thought emerges. Hildebrand is here led into areas of personal subjectivity that he did not have the occasion to explore in his ethical writings. In a most original way he shows that the desire to be loved by the person whom one loves has nothing to do with selfishness; he shows that this desire to be loved and so to be united with the other person is itself a kind of self-donation to the other. Thus Hildebrand resists the altruism that claims that one is selfless toward the beloved person only by willing the good of the other in such a way as to be indifferent to being loved in return. On the other hand, he equally resists the claim that the happiness of the one who loves is the primary motive of love. Hildebrand indicates the radically other-centered direction of love, while avoiding the pitfall of a depersonalized altruism. Thus he does justice both to the extraordinary self-transcendence of love as well as to subjectivity of love. This work constitutes a major contribution to the Christian personalism that Hildebrand represents.
The meeting will be conducted live in Zoom. Links for the session will be sent out ahead of time.
To allow for rich discussion, the group is limited in size to a maximum of 20 participants. Once the group is full, additional registrations will be placed on a waitlist.
All participants are expected to have a copy of the text and to come prepared to each session having done the weekly reading (15-45 pages per week). The weekly reading schedule will be e-mailed to you.
Derek S. Jeffreys is a professor of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He did both his B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He has written books on St. John Paul II, ethics and torture, and ethics and solitary confinement. His most recent book is America’s Jails: The Search for Human Dignity in An Age of Mass Incarceration. Jeffreys teaches courses on love, Thomas Aquinas, ethics, ethics and punishment, evil, Dante, Buddhism, and other topics. For more than a decade he has been involved in jail and prison education, giving volunteer religion and philosophy lectures to inmates in Wisconsin’s jails and prisons. He is married and proud father of twin boys.
Reading groups are free to attend.
If you are able, we invite you to make a donation to help defray the costs of organizing (reading groups cost the Hildebrand Project ~$900 for a four-week group). We are committed to making reading groups accessible to all; therefore, participation is not contingent on a donation.
Your gift support this reading group, our publications, web resources, and other events, all of which contribute to bringing the vital, life-giving witness of personalist philosophy into new and uncertain times.
Suitable for advanced students of philosophy.
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Chapter 1
Week 3: Chapter 3
Week 4: Chapter 6
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST