Wings of Desire

Cupid and Psyche, 1787-1793, by Antonio Canova

Sermon #12 (11th January 2015 at Essex Church / Kensington Unitarians) 

Reading and Reflection: Plato’s Symposium – Introducing Socrates and Alcibiades

We’re going to hear a few excerpts from Plato’s Symposium but first let me set the scene for you. The Symposium is perhaps the classic philosophical text on eros, erotic love, the love of romance, desire, and passion. The word ‘symposium’ refers to a Greek drinking-party and the book is set at one of these gatherings. A lot of the great and the good have turned up round Agathon’s house for a symposium but they’re all hungover from a big party the night before so someone suggests they lay off the drinking for a night and instead amuse themselves by having a conversation about the nature of love – eros – (surprisingly they’re all well up for this). So they take turns giving impromptu speeches about eros and we get to hear a variety of different perspectives.

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