39 pages 1 hour read

bell hooks

All about Love: Love Song to the Nation Book 1

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2000

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Chapters 5-7

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary: “Spirituality: Divine Love”

In Chapter 5, hooks analyzes the role that spirituality plays in loving practice. She notes that “living life in touch with divine spirit lets us see the light of love in all living beings” (71). Although interest in spirituality remains high in the United States, hooks fears that this interest is often subsumed by greed and pleasure-seeking. She quotes the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm who writes that capitalism and love are incompatible.

hooks is careful to draw distinctions between spirituality and religious beliefs. Every person, regardless of religious affiliation, has the capacity to engage with and cultivate a sense of spirituality. What’s more, the author believes that spirituality, as interpreted by many mainstream sects of organized religion, is in fact a corruption of spiritual beliefs. Spiritual life, hooks says, is about “commitment to a way of thinking and behaving that honors principles of inter-being and interconnectedness” (77). hooks recognizes that within every person exists forces she refers to as “divine spirit” (77). Engaging with spirituality entails that a person “recognize and celebrate the presence of transcendent spirits” (77).

Most importantly, hooks argues that commitment to spiritual life means accepting the philosophy that “love is all, everything, our true destiny” (77).

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