Law and Love

Zachary Reyna

Law and Love
  • Environmental humanities
  • Cultural study of law
  • New materialisms
  • Greek and medieval thought
  • Ecotheology
  • Eurasian indigenous politics
  • 19th-century comparative literature
  • Psychoanalysis and attachment theory
  • Masochism
  • Eco-cinema

    What is the relationship between law and love? At first glance, law and love seem to be opposed. Whereas law governs through distant rules, love emerges in intimate and often surprising circumstances. Whereas law strives to present itself in the language of reason and utility, love communicates through affect and sentiment. Law prohibits, yet “love endures all things” St Paul tell us at the beginning of the Christian tradition. This course draws on both legal cases and literary and theoretical works on love to question the premise of this opposition. We explore both love’s place in law through an examination of the way courts and legislatures in the United States and Russia have defined and redefined love, as well as law’s place in love. Ultimately, we ask, what would it mean — and is it even possible — to say that law is somehow like love?

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