Divine Madness: On the Aetiology of Romantic Obsession

Keith Sutherland

Abstract: The paper opens with a brief overview of ‘limerence’ or obsessive love disorder (OLD) from the perspectives of psychology, neurology, anthropology, and sociology, but concludes that certain unique characteristics of the condition suggest that it is better under­stood as a form of ‘divine madness’, resulting from the failure of the Platonic ascent of love to follow its natural trajectory. The paper focuses on Plotinus’s model of the erotic ascent from the one to the ONE, drawing parallels with the Indian bhakti tradition and other models derived from transpersonal psychology. The final section explores the distinction between pagan and Christian Platonism and the entailments of the latter for secular perspectives on love.


Please click link below for full paper:

Divine Madness


Stay Informed, Stay Inspired

Discover the frontier of academic insights with our newsletter. Imprint Academic brings a world of scholarly discourse right to your inbox. Stay updated on the latest publications, special offers, and the vibrant conversations shaping today’s academic landscape. Your quest for knowledge deserves a companion as dedicated as our newsletter. Sign up now and become a part of a community driven by curiosity and intellectual exploration.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.