Love: idea and perception

All contribution proposals which aim to reconstruct or discuss in critical terms the problematic topic of the concept of love in a given culture, whether in relation to the human sphere or the sphere of the “divine” – or, more broadly speaking, the sphere of the “material” – fall under this subtheme. Here we shall also explore the ways in which love has been diachronically and synchronically defined and handed down, and investigate the dynamics which may, over time, have contributed, whether knowingly or not, to modifying or altering that concept, as a result of comparisons or encounters with other cultures. For the purposes of both this subtheme and the conference overall, what is intended by the concept of love is, generally and metaphorically speaking, the entire range of emotional, sentimental and sexual perceptions, which can have various implications for the human experience, from the moment in which our gender identity is first defined and expressed to the time when our sexual instincts and inclinations come to maturity – and we cannot neglect the spheres of the abstract (desire, infatuation, dreams, nostalgia) or of transcendental emotions (veneration, devotion, consecration, worship, prayer), which can form an integral part or, in some instances, the entirety of the human experience of love. The conference does not intend to examine, on a purely sexual level, the manifold and doubtless interesting topics related to the “mechanics of sex” or the “aesthetics of sex”. Rather, it wishes to explore the cultural, ideological, ritual, relationship-associated and anthropopoietic dynamics that may distinguish, influence or steer the forms love takes and the ways in which it may be – either passively or actively – experienced or denied.