Often what passes for love is a product of self-deception and wishful thinking. Genuine love, according to philosopher Caroline J. Simon, must be based on knowledge of reality, and Christianity affirms that reality includes not just who people are but the unfolding story of who God intends them to be.
Taking the use of narrative seriously, The Disciplined Heart
draws on works of literature to display a Christian understanding of love in its various forms: love of self, love of neighbor, friendship, romantic love, and marital love. Using instances of love and its counterfeits in novels and short stories by such authors as Flannery O'Connor, Leo Tolstoy, George Eliot, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Simon constructs an account of love's joys and obligations that both charms and instructs. Learned, astute, and elegantly written, The Disciplined Heart
is a groundbreaking work at the intersection of theology, philosophy, and literary analysis.