All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume V, 2006

Document Type


Publication Date



There can be no doubt that romantic love is, at a minimum, a cultural preoccupation; arguably, it closer resembles a frenzied obsession. Love is the subject of song lyrics, television shows, films, books, watercooler conversation, gossip, scandal, historic tragedy, and uncountable daydreams and fantasies. Type “romantic love” into a Google search and you will retrieve over 4,570,000 hits for websites featuring the topic. We even recognize a national holiday in its honor. Certainly one could say that love is an ultimate concern in American culture. Just how deep, though, is our devotion to its tenets? I argue that people live and die for love; they structure their value systems and morals around its doctrines. I argue that love is an American religion, offering hope, meaning, and purpose to its followers.


Winner of the Religious Studies Best Paper Prize 2005