Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions

by Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, Editor


What do the world's major faiths teach us about the many forms of love—divine and human, spiritual and sexual, romantic and altruistic? To assume those precepts to always be stern, simplistic, and strictly focused on the divine is to miss out on one of the richest sources of interpretation of the most complex of human emotions.

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions

November 2007


Pages 665
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/Comparative

This is the first comprehensive resource on the subject of love in the teachings of the world's major religions, cultures, and philosophies.

Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions is the first reference work to offer a comprehensive portrait of love in the context of the classic and contemporary literature of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as other cultures and philosophies. Like no volume published to date, it reveals the full richness of religious teachings on love in all its many forms, exploring an extensive range of topics that offer philosophical, psychological, and religious perspectives to guide the quest for the meaning of love.

Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions features approximately 300 subject entries, as well as insightful biographic sketches of preeminent thinkers, all written by a multidisciplinary team of some of the foremost scholars on the subject. Entries examine both general and culture-specific interpretations of love: not just the dichotomy of spiritual and physical love, but the full emotional spectrum of love in relationships and practices. Collectively, they encompass love's integral—and sometimes conflicting—role in shaping beliefs and behavior in a vastly diverse world.


  • 300+ entries covering notions of love that include emotions, actions, and relationships as expressed in world religions, philosophies, and cultures
  • Contributions from nearly 200 distinguished international scholars representing diverse religious traditions and cultures
  • A vivid and informative illustration program of classic art, drawings, and photographs representing love in the full spectrum of the world's spiritual cultures
  • Bibliographies of key sources for each entry, with citations from a variety of disciplines (religion, philosophy, history, anthropology, and more)
  • Indexes organized by concepts, titles of classic texts, and religions


  • The first comprehensive resource on the role of love in the world's major religions and cultures
  • Brings coherence to a subject usually covered within the narrow parameters of a single discipline or perspective
  • The team of contributors is comprised of the world's leading scholars on the thoughts, practices, and literature of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism
  • The renowned contributors make the teachings of love throughout the centuries accessible and compelling to today's readers
Author Info

Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, PhD, is professor of religion and director of the Jewish studies program at Rollins College, Winter Park, FL. Professor Greenberg serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Her published works include Better Than Wine: Love, Poetry, and Prayer in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig and she was recently awarded a grant from the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.



"The references are very carefully developed for each entry. There are neither too few or too many, and the ones included can safely be deemed as the essential ones. Thus, the Encyclopedia is a terrific starting point for any scholar, however junior or advanced, who wants a reliable perspective on what has been done to date on a topic."Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., President, Institute for Research on Unlimited Love

"it is a worthy inclusion in most college and university libraries as well as larger public libraries."Booklist

"The 2-volume set Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions is a top pick for any high school to college-level collection strong in world religious studies."Midwest Book Review

"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."Choice

"For large academic libraries with strong religious collections, or for seminary libraries, this is a worthwhile addition."Reference & User Services Quarterly

"The Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions is the first reference work to offer a multidisciplinary investigation of love in the past and present texts and practices of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. . . . I can say up front that, in my judgment, it is an excellent resource. The articles are relatively brief as encyclopedias go, but very comprehensive. They are perfect for use by advanced high school and college students. But mature scholars can learn much as well, especially on subjects beyond their specialization. Cross-references are effectively used and each article has a list of references for further reading. I am enthusiastic about this encyclopedia. I have been studying the subjects covered in its two volumes for years. I learned something new on every page. I strongly recommend it."Zygon: Journal of Science and Religion

"[A] worthwhile reference tool both for undergraduate and graduate students that can serve as a great starting point for those studying love in one or more of the world religions. I would recommend it highly for all theological/religion libraries with the exception of those whose main reference focus falls outside the major religious traditions. Granted the tremendous significance and complexities of the topic of love, no single tool can hope to accomplish full treatment of this area yet and it is hoped that more reference materials of this type will soon emerge with sharper clarity in editorial scope and criteria."Theological Librarianship

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