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Love in dark times: Iris Murdoch on openness and the void


After situating Iris Murdoch's promotion of openness to love within a broadly Platonic ethic, I outline a familiar suspicion about such openness in the context of grief, where the finding of a new and intimate love may seem inappropriate. By drawing upon her treatment of spiritual crisis and grief as parallel instances of the void, I respond to this suspicion by arguing that love in the context of spiritual crisis offers a way to resist the dangers of the void and that similar considerations apply in the parallel case (grief). If we accept Murdoch's overall position we will then lack justification for rejecting love as a morally defensible pathway out of grief.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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