By Werner G. Jeanrond
This publication 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 advance of Christian thoughts of affection is mentioned with specific connection with different horizons and the range of methods to like within the Bible, Augustine, medieval theology, Protestant agapetheology, Catholic techniques to hope, and modern philosophy and sociology. The dialogue of the wealthy and sometimes not easy background of expressions of private, communal and non secular love permits this research to strengthen a severe and optimistic theology of Christian love for our time. This ebook demonstrates the variety within the Christian culture of affection and hence bargains a serious point of view on past and current impositions of homogenous suggestions 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 non-public and communal types of Christian discipleship. the normal separation among agape love and eroticism is conquer in favour of an built-in version of affection that recognizes either God's present of affection and the opportunity of each girl, guy and baby to give a contribution to the transformative praxis of affection in church and society.
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60 See below, chapter 4. 58 Horizons of Love 19 Networks of Love The human desire for love always develops within larger networks of relationships. Many of these relationships are not at all symmetrical in the sense that Western imagination wishes the love of a couple to be. The relationship between parents and children are rarely symmetrical: newborn babies cannot extend their love to their parents in the way the parents are able to show to them in so many ways. Hence, the activity of one subject of love does not need to be matched by other subjects in order for love to flow.
It is interesting to note with Vincent Brümmer that ‘most of the comprehensive concepts of love developed within it [the Christian tradition] have been attitudinal rather than relational. 70 I agree with Brümmer that any reduction of love to the level of mere emotion would withdraw love from the horizon of commitment and responsibility and instead locate it in a horizon of arbitrariness and transience. ‘[A]lthough we cannot be held responsible for our feelings, we can be held responsible for keeping our commitments.
73 Brümmer, The Model of Love, p. 156. Horizons of Love 23 Hence, the purpose of this study cannot be comprehensive. Rather the aim of this book is to reflect upon the potential of love from within a theological horizon. Both significant traditions and ruptures in the development of Christian discourses on love and contemporary contributions to the theological discussion of love shall be studied and explored here. I do not intend to simplify or harmonize the theological study of love. Yet I do wish to present what I consider to be significant features of a relational understanding of the Christian praxis of love.