The love of God was identified as the virtuous or pious. Socrates famously asked whether this identification is a tautology, see Euthyphro dilemma.
An experience of divine love is central in mysticism. Medieval German mystics, women in particular (Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hildegard von Bingen), express divine love as a burning passion. Similarly, Julian of Norwich in her Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (ca. 1393).
In Christianity, God's love is expressed in Greek as agape, famously in John 3:16 "God so loved the world" . The term theophilia or theophilos being meant as the cultural transcendence of the Greeks from the love of wisdom (philosophy) to the love of God (theophilia).
Goethe expresses the sentiment of love of God alongside the opposite sentiment of hatred of God in his two poems Ganymed and Prometheus, respectively.
In Greek Orthodox Christianity the concept is the catalyst that drives the relationship between man and God. The relationship between man and God being referred to as theosis. Theophilia is the love of God, Philokalia is the love of beauty (as manifestation of God) and also as a set of Eastern Orthodox ascetic religious text, centered on the idea of using theoria (contemplation of Beauty and or God) called Hesychasm to cultivate true beauty and therefore the love of God. Theoria being the manifestation or experience of God in the life of the person as the highest beauty.
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