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Love That Works

The Art and Science of Giving

Bruce Brander

This original, highly readable book poses a clear distinction between our customary form of love, which almost guarantees failure, and higher, more generous ways of loving that can succeed and enrich both individuals and society as a whole. Love That Works draws on history, psychology, and the theology and science of love to offer a proposal on how to be successful in love and romance. It starts by showing why love fails to meet expectations, often ending sadly or even tragically. It offers fresh insights on:

  • How to know what love is and if you’re really in love
  • Understanding romance (eros), friendship (philia), and altruism (agape)
  • Love that leads to spiritual health and emotional well-being
  • Love “problems” related to the general disintegration of our culture

Acknowledgments / xi

Part I: Love in the Dark / 1

1. Love vs. Decency? / 3

2. Modern Romance / 7

3. Love Foredoomed / 14

4. Love Befuddled / 18

5. Love in History / 25

6. Love among the Scientists / 37

7. Love Damaged / 47

8. Love Lost / 55

Part II: Love for Life / 73

9. Love Rediscovered / 75

10. Eros Aglow / 83

11. Eros Awry / 91

12. The Cozy Love / 103

13. The Highest Love / 112

14. Overcoming Love’s Enemies / 128

15. Why Love? / 139

16. Rising to Love / 145

Bibliography and Further Reading / 153

Index / 157

About the Author / 163

I have over thirty books in my personal library that deal with some aspect of love and without any exaggeration this is one of the finest I have read. . . . This book will become required reading for my students. I know that anybody who wants to experience love at deeper, richer, and more meaningful levels will clearly benefit from this wonderful and much-needed book.

Gary J. Oliver, executive director of The Center for Marriage and Family Studies.

Bruce Brander has written an absolutely splendid book which highlights the many problems associated with a culture that primarily thinks of love in the context of fleeting romantic attractions.

Stephen G. Post, professor of preventive medicine, and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University of the State University of New York