Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Kathryn Madden
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_209

Eros [Latin Erōs; Greek ἔρως érōs] refers to passionate love, sensual desire, and longing. In the personified form of Greek mythology ca. 1386, Eros was the god of love, related to desire of an unknown origin. In the early creation myth, the Theogony of Hesiod (700 BCE), Eros was a primal god, son of Chaos, the original primeval emptiness of the universe. Eros emerged from the primordial groundlessness of Chaos together with Gaia, the Earth, matter, and nature and Tartarus the underworld, creating a dichotomy of being. Some legends attribute Eros as the scintilla of desire that united Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth) from whose union the entire material world came into being. In early legends, he was the firstborn Light that was responsible for the fertile and creative coming into being and ordering of all things in the cosmos.

Later tradition depicted him as the son and attendant of Aphrodite, goddess of sexual love. Together, as gods, they harnessed the primordial force of love and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the pleasure principle. In J. Strachey (Ed.), The standard edition of the complete works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 18). London: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  2. Freud, S. (1925). The resistances to psycho-analysis. In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works (24 Vols.). London: HogarthGoogle Scholar
  3. Haughton, R. (1981). The passionate God. London: Arton, Longman & Todd.Google Scholar
  4. Jaffe, L. (1999). Celebrating the soul: Preparing for the new religion. Toronto: Inner City Books.Google Scholar
  5. Jung, C. G. (1959). Aion: Research into the phenomenology of the self, CW X. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Neumann, E. (1956). Amor and psyche: The psychic development of the feminine. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Foundation.Google Scholar
  7. Ovid. (1986). Heroides and Amores (trans: Showerman, G.,2nd edn. revised by Goold, G. P.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for the PsychotherapiesNew YorkUSA