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Love in Christianity and its relationship with eros and agape

una pintura d'un grup de persones menjant juntes a una taula amb un home al mig de la taula, Cimabue, pintura a l'oli renaixentista, una pintura, renaixentista

Love in Christianity

Christianity is often associated with love, emphasizing its loving essence of God and the importance of love in the Christian faith. This fundamental principle of the Christian faith highlights God’s love for human beings, expressed in the verse Jn 4:16: “God is love (agape), and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. “

Benevolent love and lustful love

St. Augustine differentiated benevolent love, specifically Christian, from concupiscent love. Benevolent love, known as agape, is considered the love worthy of Christians, while concupiscent love is seen as demanding, involuntary, and purely erotic love.

Eros and agapé

The question of the relationship between eros and agape has been the subject of debate. Anders Nygren defended the radical difference between Greek eros and Christian agape, claiming that Plato had no knowledge of agape and Saint Paul, even less of eros.

The vision of Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI called into question the sharp division between eros and agape, arguing that radicalizing the opposition between these two types of love could lead Christianity towards a disengagement from vital relationships fundamental to human existence.

The dialogue with Nietzsche

The Pope had a dialogue with Nietzsche about eroticism, rejecting the idea that Christianity had poisoned eros. This unusual dialogue was seen as a gesture of charity, as it opened the door to a reflection on love in humanity.

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