The Wisdom of Love in The Song of Songs

Dr Gillow Reynolds argues for a unique interpretation of this sensual and mysterious poem, long considered the most important book of the Hebrew Scriptures but nowadays relatively unknown. The Wisdom of Love in the Song of Songs brings cohesion and context to the disparate mystical, academic and secular interpretations of the Song, shedding new light on, and insight into, one of the greatest love poems of all time.

The book includes a complete reproduction of the verses from The Song of Songs and colour and black and white images.

ISBN: 978-0-9956478-2-4
Format: Hardback, quarter cloth binding
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
Length: 392 pages
Publication Date: 21/06/2018
Genre: Theology


‘ … A tour de force, The Wisdom of Love in the Song of Songs deserves to be read by all who are willing to have their hearts and minds stretched and enlarged … A book for scholars and for a more general readership, it will be a great help in bringing the Song back to life today…written with passion – heart and soul – like the Song itself.’

Graeme Watson, author of The Song of Songs: A Contemplative Guide

‘The Wisdom of Love in the Song of Songs is a beautifully enigmatic biblical text – St Augustine called it ‘a puzzle’ – that jumps alive in Stefan Gillow Reynolds’ close reading. A text usually met in fragments at weddings is presented here as a new whole in a fresh commentary with theological and psychological insight. Dream, erotic story or mystical revelation, or all three? The merging of the different forms of love yields new insight into the divine and human affair.’

Laurence Freeman, The Tablet, Books of the Year

The Tablet Books of the Year

Dr Gillow Reynolds has explored a difficult and controversial subject with great depth and insight; bringing his vast knowledge of art, literature, medieval mystics, psychology, the classics and, not least, the Bible to analyse the Song of Solomon, a poem that has exercised great minds for centuries. His unique approach is refreshing, accessible and often humorous … Like the ‘wise scribe’ who ‘brought forth things both new and old’ (Matt: 13:52) Dr Gillow Reynolds has given us new wine from a very old tradition. In this beautifully produced book he has served it again in a new wine skin, making the precious vintage of The Song of Songs available – and enjoyable – today. I strongly recommend it.’

Johanna O’ Mahony Walters, author of They Dared to be Different: Pioneering Women

‘In its content this is a significant book, and as an object it is attractive too. The cover, the binding, the typeface, and the many illustrations, some in colour, are pleasing to the eye, and Dr Reynold’s style is pleasing to the ear: he writes with grace. These qualities are appropriate, for the Song is about beauty, the beauty that draws forth love.’

Terrence O’Reilly, The Furrow 

The Furrow Review

Luke Bell, The Tablet

The Tablet 17th Nov

‘This biblical book, currently neglected, save for an occasional reading at weddings, deserves more attention. Beautifully produced and enhanced by its illustrations, Gillow Reynolds’s distinctive interpretation, drawing on his wide general learning, including psychology, the church Fathers, and literature, would be a good place to start.’

Canon Anthony Phillips, The Church Times

The Church Times Review


‘Robert Davidson tells the story of a Jewish tailor talking to a Christian friend, ‘the real difference between a Jew and a Christian is that we Jews believe in sex’. If true, this is very sad because, as Stefan points out so powerfully, those who take the Incarnation seriously cannot not believe in sex. Big thanks to Stefan for making this point so well, big thanks to him for his labour of love and for his impressive use of scripture, art, literature, Christian spirituality and psychology; biggest thanks for all to him for his choice of topic: Rabbi Akibu wrote that ‘the whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given
to Israel; for all the Scriptures are holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.’ Stefan’s book will help us to understand this insight and make it our own.’

Dom Stephen Ortiger, The Worth Society Blue Paper



About the Author

Dr Stefan Gillow Reynolds is Retreat Director at Mount Melleray Abbey, Co Waterford, Ireland. He has a PhD from London University in Christian Spirituality, an MA in History of Christianity and an MA in Inter-Religious Dialogue. He is the author of Living with the Mind of Christ: Mindfulness in Christian Spirituality (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2016). He wrote the online course Roots of Christian Mysticism for the World Community for Christian Meditation. He teaches Christian Meditation in a contemporary context and leads retreats internationally. He also paints icons and writes poetry.