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Love as a Force for Social Justice, Stanford University

4.6
93 ratings
28 reviews

About this Course

The objectives of this course are: -To introduce participants to different concepts of love, to empower them to be conscious of the power of love and the possibility of practicing it in everyday life, and to highlight in particular the idea of love as a force for social justice. -To communicate a sense of personal strength and empowerment by actively learning from each other and beginning to define how participants can apply their learning in service to society. This course will explore the concept of agape love (compassion/kindness) as a force for social justice and action and as the inspiration for service and the application of knowledge to positive social change. Biological, psychological, religious, and social perspectives of love will be discussed, drawing on the expertise of people from a variety of disciplines. During the six-week course, the following topics will be raised and discussed: kinds of love/defining love; non-violent communication; love and the biology of the brain; love as a basic concept of religious and ethical beliefs (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Gandhian); love applied in action, and poetic expressions of love as a social force. This curriculum aims to foster a sense of the importance of love as a key phenomenon in creating community, connection, and functional societies among humans. Course materials will draw from a variety of sources. One of the goals of the class is to provide participants with some knowledge of the literature of love, and readings for the course are listed in the outline of the course on the pages that follow....

Top reviews

By KH

May 27, 2018

Love as a Force for Social Justice is a great course to open up your mind and open up possibilities to look at the World with a pair of new eyes :-)

By NK

Feb 05, 2018

I've learnt so much about life and myself through this course-- and it's not even done yet, I wish I could rate it higher than 5 stars.

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28 Reviews

By Kimble Perry

Oct 16, 2018

I am a bit 'long in the tooth' to have not visited most of this material already. It was a PLEASURE to hear younger people taking all this thought process into consideration. I liked hearing the interviews, especially the women who were new to me.

By Ana Catarina Boavista Rodrigues

Sep 19, 2018

This course feels a bit like Political Propaganda.... not worth anyone's time. Standford usually has very independent courses, interesting... This one felt a little bit like indoctrination. I liked the first part of the materials, but as the course progresses it feels a bit like a too narrow politicla mindset. I wish this would take a more academic approach rather than having a clear political bias, A documenting approach rather than a political affiliation. I thought this course would present an approach from multiple sides of the Political spectrum, from the Far left to the Far right... using a more centrist approach

By Deleted Account

Aug 19, 2018

I studied this course on an audit basis, so haven't had the benefit of doing all the assignments. I may upgrade and complete the assignments later. I enjoyed the course and learned a great deal. There are a few areas of discussion I'd like to see expanded if the course is revised at any stage.

1) Firstly, one of the greatest causes of sadness and pain in the world, is warfare. There is a link to a very interesting research paper on the effectiveness of non-violent approaches to dispute settlement vs war. I'd like to see the subject of love and violence discussed in the context of, "If one is a soldier, is it an unusual and yet acceptable form of love to commit violent acts, in order to protect one's country, society or family from some form of oppressive tyranny?" This is perhaps the most controversial discussion we could have about love and violence, but I think it's worth exploring.

2) Whilst I respect (and even love) those with religious beliefs, I'd prefer to see equal time/weight in the course given to non-religious, atheistic or agnostic views on what love means to different people.

Finally, an observation, when one of the speakers is talking about the tenets of Sufism (in the Islam section) she refers to 'the hands to strike with' - so many more creative, loving uses of the hands to consider methinks.

Thanks for providing this course Anne, it made me think about many aspects of love and our general approach to people, animals, the envrionment and business. I was particularly excited by the Nipun Metha video about designing for generosity, and the young students' talk at the end about how the course would impact their future lives was filled with great wisdom for such young minds.

By Alida Corr

Aug 02, 2018

A great way to productively listen and understand other's views and opinions!

By Emil

May 30, 2018

Done it

By Kiran Hari

May 27, 2018

Love as a Force for Social Justice is a great course to open up your mind and open up possibilities to look at the World with a pair of new eyes :-)

By Marlaina Rodriguez

Apr 30, 2018

Outstanding class! I have to knock a star off because some of the assignment instruction prompts did not match the grading rubrics. That meant that sometimes I would follow the assignment prompt exactly, but the questions posted for peer grading would have different requirements for the assignment and we would not receive full credit even though we followed the instructions.

By VARUN TYAGI

Apr 09, 2018

one of finest course i hve ever come across

By Adanid Prieto

Apr 08, 2018

Interesting and rich content

By Daithi M. Walsh

Mar 31, 2018

Very stimulating and interesting course. There's a big variety of different perspectives on the main topics. Also, I thought the assignments and extra reading were all very informative and thought-provoking.