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The Philosophy of Love - a delightful choral concert exploring the mysteries of love

When we think of love today, our minds often gravitate toward romantic relationships or fleeting infatuations. But the ancient Greeks had a more intricate and multifaceted view of love—one that encompassed a spectrum of emotions, relationships, and virtues. Their exploration of love went beyond mere passion and desire, touching on themes of friendship, self-love, and sacrifice.

In our summer concert, we’ll take you on a journey through the eight distinct types of love as understood by the ancient Greeks. Each type carries its own significance, revealing the depth and complexity of human connections.

So, let’s step back in time and explore these nuanced definitions. 🌟 Eros (ἔρως): Eros represents physical love or sexual desire. It’s the passionate, lustful, and romantic love that ignites between lovers. In Greek mythology, Eros was the love god, better known by his Roman name, Cupid.

Philia (ϕιλία): Philia is affectionate love, often associated with deep friendship. Plato considered Philia an even greater love than eros. It’s the bond between strong friends, and in some cases, it can lead to a “friends become lovers” situation. Our modern-day concept of platonic love derives from Philia.

Ludus (Παιχνίδια): Ludus represents playful love. It’s the flirtatious, light-hearted affection found in early stages of relationships, and the playfulness of childhood. This is an innocent love.

Agape (ἀγάπη): Agape is often defined as unconditional, sacrificial love. It’s the selfless love that compels a person to do anything for another without expecting anything in return. Philosophically, agape extends to love for strangers and humanity as a whole.

Pragma  (πρᾶγμα): Pragma represents long-standing love. It’s the enduring love that develops over time in committed relationships. Pragma values compatibility, shared goals, and mutual understanding - this is the love of a couple who have weathered life's journey together.

Philautia (φιλαυτία): Philautia is self-love. It encompasses both healthy self-esteem and narcissism. The ancient Greeks recognised that loving oneself is essential for forming healthy relationships with others. Without self-love, we cannot experience well-being.

Storge (στοργή): Storge is familial love. It’s the natural affection between family members—parents and children, siblings, and relatives. Think of the love that includes loyalty and the bonds of shared experience.  

Mania (μανία): Mania represents obsessive love. It’s intense, consuming, and often irrational. Think of the tumultuous love affairs that defy reason and logic.

The ancient Greeks recognised that love is multifaceted, ranging from passionate desire to selfless sacrifice. These eight types of love continue to resonate across cultures and time, reminding us that love is both complex and beautiful.

Join us for our summer choral concert of love on June 29th at Leicester's St John the Baptist church, and on July 6th, at St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, and discover The Philosophy of Love.

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