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4 - Love and Attention

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 April 2024

Michael McGhee
Affiliation:
University of Liverpool
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Summary

The matched pair ‘love’ and ‘attention’ is familiar to most of us from the essays in Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good. Although she tells us in that book that there is, in her view, no God in the traditional sense of that term, she provides accounts of art, prayer and morality that are religious. ‘Morality’, she tells us, ‘has always been connected with religion and religion with mysticism’ (Murdoch, 1970, p. 74). The connection here is love and attention: ‘Virtue is au fond the same in the artist as in the good man in that it is a selfless attention to nature’ (ibid. p. 41).

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Chapter
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Spiritual Life , pp. 94 - 116
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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References

Augustine, . 1988. St. Augustine’s Christian Doctrine, trans. Rev. Prof. J. F. Shaw. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. II. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns).Google Scholar
Murdoch, Iris. 1970. The Sovereignty of Good (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
Nussbaum, Martha. 1986. The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
Gregory of Nyssa. 1979. ‘On Virginity’, trans. Moore and Wilson. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. V. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns).Google Scholar
O’Donovan, O. 1980. The Problem of Self-Love in Augustine (New Haven and London: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
Ruddick, Sara. 1990. Maternal Thinking: Towards a Politics of Peace (London: The Women’s Press).Google Scholar
Taylor, Charles, 1989. Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar

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