Will Bell and Graham Renz's "Why There Is No Obligation to Love God" to appear in Religious Studies

Philosophy PhD students William Bell and Graham Renz have had their paper "Why There Is No Obligation to Love God" accepted for publication in Religious Studies.  Here's an abstract: "The first and greatest commandment according to Jesus, and so the one most central to Christian practice, is the command to love God. We argue that this commandment is best interpreted in aretaic rather than deontic terms. In brief, we argue that there is no obligation to love God. While bad, failure to seek and enjoy a union of love with God is not in violation of any general moral requirement. The core argument is straightforward: relations of intimacy should not be morally imposed upon autonomous beings. We contend that such reasoning applies to human beings’ relationship to God. So, even if our ultimate end is to enjoy communion with God, God has no right that human beings seek a relationship with him. If this is correct, then the command to ‘love God’ is not the sort of moral principle that can be supported by threats of hellfire or other forms of coercion."