The Culture of Love in China and Europe

In The Culture of Love in China and Europe Paolo Santangelo and Gábor Boros offer a survey of the cults of love developed in the history of ideas and literary production in China and Europe between the 12th and early 19th century. They describe parallel evolutions within the two cultures, and how innovatively these independent civilisations developed their own categories and myths to explain, exalt but also control the emotions of love and their behavioural expressions. The analyses contain rich materials for comparison, point out the universal and specific elements in each culture, and hint at differences and resemblances, without ignoring the peculiar beauty and attractive force of the texts cultivating love.

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Paolo Santangelo, is Professor emeritus of Sapienza University of Rome, and leads an international research project on the textual analysis of literary and non-literary sources in Chinese culture. He is the author of several books and articles. Gábor Boros is Philosopher at Loránd Eötvös University and Head of the Department of General Humanities at Gáspár Károli University in Budapest. He has published monographs, translations and numerous articles on early modern philosophy and philosophy of emotions, in particularly on the concepts of love.
Authors’ Preface
List of Figures

Part 1: China

Paolo Santangelo
Introductory Notes
1 Emotions and Love. Philosophical Representation of Passions: Emotions and Human Nature in Neo-Confucian Thought
 Basic Terms and Notions Concerning the Idea of “Love”
 Chinese Notions Ascribable to the Concepts of Love
 Passions and Love Passion ( Qing)
Qing: a Short Historical Survey
 The “Romantics” in the Medieval Period
 The Cosmologists. The Concept of Psychophysical Nature and the Principle-Desires Scheme in the School of Principles
 Wang Yangming
 Rehabilitation of Emotions and Desires. Ideological Basis for a Cult of Passions
 Developments of the Schools of Mind
 From Ming to Qing
 The Cult of Passions during the Qing Dynasty
 Two Main Trends and Domestication of Passions

2 Various Facets of Love in Literary Sources
 The So-Called Cult of Passions in Literary Works
 The ‘True Emotions’ and ‘True Love’
 Love Winning Death: Mythical and Supernatural Elements
 The “Mutual Love Tree”
 Destiny and Predestined Love
 Two Treatises on Love: the “History of Love” ( Qingshi leilüe 情史類略) and De Amore
 In Search of a New Morality
 Love, Desire and Lust
 Seduction: Breaches, Temptations and Loneliness
 The Rhetoric of Gendered Seduction
 Body and Beauty: the Language of Body as Seductive Language
 Love-Affection as Moral Sentiment: Conjugal Love and Its Antagonists
 Gender’s Roles in Love. New and Old Images of Heroines and Heroes
Femme fatale
 Illicit and Practical Loves. Love as a Food
 The Dark and Surreal Sides of Love. Eros and Death
 Passions are Like Dreams. Between Social Limitations and Dream Freedom

3 Concluding Remarks and Bibliography to Part 1
 Concluding Remarks
 Bibliography to Part 1

Part 2: Europe

Gábor Boros
4 European Philosophies of Love – General Introduction
 1 Historical Introduction
 2 Philosophical Introduction – Sources, Ideas, Terminology

5 The Scholastic Period
 1 Love of God According to Bernard of Clairvaux
 2 Peter Abelard’s Calamities of Love
 3 Andreas Capellanus and Love’s Labours in His On Love
 4 Thomas Aquinas’ Systematised Christian Concept of Love
 5 Facets of Love in Literary Sources: Courtly Love

6 Christian and Jewish, Florentine and Neapolitan Versions of Neoplatonism
 1 Marsilio Ficino’s Commentaries on Plato’s Texts on Love
 2 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: a Platonic Discourse on Love – in Exposition of a Sonnet by Girolamo Benivieni
 3 Leone Ebreo’s Dialogues of Love
 4 The Dissolution of the Christian-Platonic Tradition of Love: Castiglione, Bruno
 5 Facets of Love in Literary Sources: 14th-17th Century

7 Concepts of Love in the 17th Century
 1 Concepts of Love in the Early 17th Century Religious Renovation and in the Passage from Traditional Physiology to the Mechanical Science-based Medicine (Jacques Ferrand, and Francis of Sales, Fénelon and Mme Guyon)
 2 Metaphysic-based Concepts of Love in the 17th Century

8 Enlightenments: Naturalizing Concepts of Love
 1 Hume’s Philosophy of Love: Sympathy Based on Experimental Natural Law
 2 French Enlightenment
 3 Kant’s Concepts of Love, Marriage and Friendship from Traditional Natural Law Perspective

9 The Beginnings of Romanticism
 1 Facets of Love in Literary Sources: Schlegel’s and Goethe’s Respective Versions of Romantic Concepts of Love
 2 Hegel and the Impossibility to Find a Place for Love within the Rational State
 3 Facets of Love in Literary Sources: Stendhal On Love
 4 Kierkegaard’s Ultimate Concept of Love in His The Works of Love
 Bibliography to Part 2


All interested in Chinese culture, Chinese philosophy and Chinese literature, anthropology, history of emotions, history of Western thought, history of European literatures, social psychology, history of religions.