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By Werner G. Jeanrond

This ebook explores the several dimensions of Christian love. It argues that each one expressions of affection are wrestling with the problem of otherness and for this reason with the event of transcendence. the improvement of Christian options of affection is mentioned with specific connection with the various horizons and the range of methods to like within the Bible, Augustine, medieval theology, Protestant agapetheology, Catholic ways to wish, and modern philosophy and sociology. The dialogue of the wealthy and infrequently tricky historical past of expressions of private, communal and spiritual love permits this learn to enhance a serious and positive theology of Christian love for our time. This ebook demonstrates the range within the Christian culture of affection and hence deals a severe point of view on past and current impositions of homogenous options of affection. The booklet invitations the reader to an in-depth exam of the opportunity of Christian love and its specific associations for the advance of private and communal sorts of Christian discipleship. the conventional separation among agape love and eroticism is triumph over in favour of an built-in version of affection that recognizes either God's reward of affection and the opportunity of each lady, guy and baby to give a contribution to the transformative praxis of affection in church and society.

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The communicative possibilities of dealing with the different dimensions of God’s love for Israel and Israel’s love for God were somewhat restricted in the process of the Septuagint translation, where the hitherto not too common Greek term agape was chosen to lend expression to nearly all of the Hebrew terms for love. The verb phileo is used only very rarely. The verb erao, which can refer to sexual 16 Katherine Doob Sakenfeld, ‘Love (OT)’, in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4, New York: Doubleday, 1992, pp.

John of the Cross and his vision of Carmelite reform. Moreover, women mystics, such as Hildegard of Bingen, Hadewijch of Brabant,60 and Mechthild of Magdeburg, express a new erotic language that differs considerably from the male rhetoric and power of the day in whose institutions women were not allowed to participate. The mystical discourse of love thus shows that the erotic and the sacred need not be understood in terms of radical opposition. Rather they have been experienced to be closely connected.

55 See Ulrich Köpf, ‘Hoheliedauslegung als Quelle einer Theologie der Mystik’, in Margot Schmidt together with Dieter R. Bauer, eds, Grundfragen christlicher Mystik, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1987, pp. 50–72. 56 For an in-depth discussion of the development of Christian mysticism in the West and of its different roots and inspirations see Bernard McGinn, The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century, London: SCM, 1992. , p. 27: It is clear from Plato’s Symposium ‘that Plato’s notion of love is not purely egotistical and self-serving, as Anders Nygren claimed; rather true eros is love for the Good that seeks to beget the good, either the good of human offspring or of virtue’.

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