Damaris Masham’s Discourse Concerning the Love of God was published anonymously in 1696, against the Letters Concerning the Love of God (1695) between John Norris and Mary Astell. Lady Masham contested, in particular, the distinction between love of benevolence and love of desire, rejecting Norris’ hypothesis that, since love is «a motion of the soul towards good», and God is the only true good, he «ought to be the sole object of our love», and we should refrain from the love of creature, which is the general temptation to sin. Masham accused her adversary of blind «enthusiasm, or even irreligion», stressing that his view opposed «the daily sense and experience of all Mankind», and neglected that creatures were naturally «designed» for social life. Inspired by Locke, she defined love as «that disposition, or act, of the mind, which we find in our selves towards any thing we are pleas’d with». Thus, she emphasized that creatures are our first objects of love, and we need to love them in order to love God, who «is an invisible being, and it is by his works, that we are led both to know, and to love him». Therefore, «if we lov'd not the creatures; it is not conceiveable how we should love God».

« If we lov’d not the Creatures, it is not conceiveable how we should love God » : Damaris Masham sull’amore di Dio

G. Mocchi
2019

Abstract

Damaris Masham’s Discourse Concerning the Love of God was published anonymously in 1696, against the Letters Concerning the Love of God (1695) between John Norris and Mary Astell. Lady Masham contested, in particular, the distinction between love of benevolence and love of desire, rejecting Norris’ hypothesis that, since love is «a motion of the soul towards good», and God is the only true good, he «ought to be the sole object of our love», and we should refrain from the love of creature, which is the general temptation to sin. Masham accused her adversary of blind «enthusiasm, or even irreligion», stressing that his view opposed «the daily sense and experience of all Mankind», and neglected that creatures were naturally «designed» for social life. Inspired by Locke, she defined love as «that disposition, or act, of the mind, which we find in our selves towards any thing we are pleas’d with». Thus, she emphasized that creatures are our first objects of love, and we need to love them in order to love God, who «is an invisible being, and it is by his works, that we are led both to know, and to love him». Therefore, «if we lov'd not the creatures; it is not conceiveable how we should love God».
978-88-3315-175-5
Masham, Love of God, Locke, Norris, Astell.
Amore divino, benevolenza, desiderio, Masham, Locke Norris, Astell
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/303269
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