The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love

Works of Love Newsletter
Stephen G. Post

"The Ways and Power of Love" Seminar at Linacre College

Dear Friends:

We are immensely grateful to report to you on the second of our annual seminars at Linacre College of Oxford University, which took place May 19th and 20th, 2023 in the beautiful Tanner Room. These seminars cluster around the themes of benevolent love, spirituality, love of nature, and personal as well as social transformation. As implied by the title above, we wish to engage with the future of the human spiritual quest, with all of its practical implications and dimensions for flourishing.

14 creative thought leaders from various disciplines and fields joined together to address the interwoven loves of the natural world, neighbour, and self. Our first seminar (May 6 & 7 of 2022) focused on the integrative thought of Pitirim Sorokin, the great Russian-American sociologist (d.1968), whose classic work The Ways and Power of Love: Types, Factors, and Techniques of Moral Transformation (Templeton Foundation Press, 1954/2002) inspires our work. Dr. Post briefly crossed paths with Harvard's Sorokin in 1967 in New Hampshire, where as high school boy at St. Paul's School he first encountered The Ways and Power of Love, which was so influential that many years later the first act of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (2001) was to see that this great work was published anew with the Templeton Foundation Press, replete with Post's 40-page Introduction. Speakers in 2022 included Professors Keith Ward and Celia Deane-Drummond, among others. Linacre College was the ideal setting for our annual seminars because it was founded to bridge the growing divide between the humanities and the sciences. You can read a summary of the 2022 seminar in the Linacre Alumni News.

The 2023 Seminar will bring these three loves into dialogue. After a day of presentations and discussions, delegates were invited to a three-course evening meal hosted in the small dining room of Linacre. We reconvened the next day around a luncheon.


We deeply thank Linacre College for continuing to support this important research legacy into values for which it has long stood, consistent with the great physician scientist and humanist Thomas Linacre, who well understood the healing qualities of love and kindness.

The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, so-named by Sir John Templeton in 2001 based on his book Pure Unlimited Love: An Eternal Creative Force and Blessing Taught by All Religions (Templeton Foundation Press, 2000), provided funding for the conference dinner and related hospitality.

We wish to thank Drs. Stephen Bardle, DPhil Linacre, and Matthew T. Lee PhD for co-chairing this event with Dr. Post.

A key presentation was delivered by Dr. Richard Bauckham of Cambridge University, "Is there a basis in Christian belief for altruistic love of nature?"

Matthew T. Lee (Harvard/Baylor Universities) spoke on "Love of Creation and Human Flourishing"

Dr Tim Middleton (Oxford University) delivered an address on, "Loving Nature as Subject in the Ecotheology of Sallie McFague," followed by Professors Julian Hughes MD (Bristol University), who spoke on "An Aesthetic Approach to People with Dementia," with a response from Dr. Post on "Love and Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People." Dr.Yudit Greenberg (Rollins College) spoke on "Love of Nature in the World Religions," with an emphasis on Judaism.

The unsurpassed Professor Celia Deane-Drummond (Oxford University) addressed, "Learning to Love Again: Rediscovering the Earth as Sacred," while here colleague Timothy Howles (Oxford University), "Conceptions of Love in Recent French Thought: Francois Jullien, Michael Serres, Bruno Latour"

Book: The Ways and Power of Love
Book: Why Good Things Happen to Good People
Book: Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People
Book: Pure Unlimited Love


With Kind Regards

Stephen G. Post
Stephen G. Post, PhD, Founder and President (2001-current)
The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love


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