Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 45, 2008

Philosophy of Religion

Sung Jin Song
Pages 349-355

A Panentheistic Interpretation of the Divine Love

Most religions share the belief that love is the supreme truth of the ultimate reality and also of all human beings. The ultimate reality is characterized by the absolute love for all beings. And authentic human life consists in embodying the divine love as far as possible. The religious-meaning of love can be interpreted in terms of the panentheistic conceptuality provided process philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Hartshorne’s mind-body analogy is helpful in particular. The ultimate reality is the mind of the world. And the world is the body of the ultimate reality. Love as communion or mutual participation is experienced paradigmatically in the interaction between mind and body. Existential embodiment of the divine love is a necessary ingredient of authentic human life. And our love needs to be expanded more and more toward the limit of God’s cosmic love. If one expands one’s love to the greatest possible degree, one may be able to include the whole world as one’s body.