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The Nature of LovePlato to Luther$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512725

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512725.001.0001

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Nomos: Submission to God’s Will

Nomos: Submission to God’s Will

(p.233) 12 Nomos: Submission to God’s Will
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses how religion turns the idea of love into a form of submission. In Christianity, all must believe that man is created in the likeness of God; because a likeness is always inferior to the original, the religious soul must submit to the superiority of God. Spiritual marriage not only entails unanimity but also conformity; man’s will must yield to the will of God. This aspect of Judaeo-Christian love based on submissiveness is referred to as nomos, a concept fundamental in a number of respects to all religious love. Freud believes that Christian nomos, inasmuch as it implies a renunciation of the world, is a mechanism by which civilization controls the individual’s antisocial impulses. It originates from the universal fear of some external authority.

Keywords:   religion, love, submissiveness, Christianity, Christian nomos, Judaeo-Christian love, religious love, spiritual marriage, unanimity, conformity

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