The UU Salon

The Big Questions in life, answered by Unitarian Universalist bloggers. It's not "the" answer. It's "their" answer.
Because that's how we UUs roll.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May Big Question

"I wanna know what love is..." or at least what it means to us. We use that word a lot, we Unitarian Universalists who are standing on the side of love.

We love our neighbors - good. We also love broccoli (some of us), or the latest Julia Spencer-Fleming novel. Hmmm... Do we use the word too much, too casually? What do you think?

The Salon is OPEN...

Inner Light, Radiant Life: Love, What is this thing called

The Wonderment: Practice of Love, Love God


  1. I'm waiting to hear myself. I think we're overusing the word... better if we just stuck with the greek versions from the bible...might help us clarify. Standing on the Side of Love sounds like standing on G*d's side to my mind. It's an awful slogan.

  2. What is this thing called love? or What is this thing called, Love?

    As anyone knows who grew up in a church that bothered itself with languages of the Bible, part of our problem is that English uses one word to stand in for multiple concepts. And time has provided plenty of sliding idioms to confuse things as well. In my generation, for example, "to make love" means "to copulate" when the activity is engaged in by people who are romantically involved with each other. But when my parents were young, it was often used for activity that only involved mouth and ear - pitching woo, whispering sweet nothings, etc.

    So, yeah, to speak the language of philosophers and evangelists, do UUs stand on the side of agapē (total commitment or self-sacrificial love), philia (dispassionate virtuous love, familial love), eros (passionate or romantic love), storge (affection) or thelema (desire)? if the Greeks had a corner on loves. Biblical Hebrew uses ahab (spontaneous, impulsive love), hesed (deliberate choice of affection and kindness), and raham (compassion or brotherly love).

    And what is the difference between "standing on the side of love" and loving? since the former seems to place the love in the persons we stand with not in us. So standing on the side of love, when it refers to advocating marriage equality, seems potentially to refer to a totally different type of love than when it refers to reuniting immigrant families, e.g.

    I'll be interested to see where people take this one!

  3. My thoughts are here: