Radix dilectionis: asimilación, polémica y transposición de la ética clásica en Gregorio de Nisa y Agustín de Hipona

In Controversias filosóficas, científicas y teológicas en el pensamiento Tardo-Antiguo y Medieval. Rosario, Santa Fe Province, Argentina: pp. 81-91 (2011)

In Classical Greece, the philosophical consideration of human love reaches unimagined heights in the Platonic Dialogues. Eros is described both as the uniting force of Ancient Medicine and pre-Socratic Cosmology, and as the sacred impulse towards the Beautiful and the Good, towards the perfection of the Divine. The reflection of the Greek Patristic authors assimilates this concept of love and its Peripatetic, Stoic and Neoplatonic variations, but seriously rethinks some of their implications. The Judeo-Christian view of human and divine love, expressed in the Song of Songs, the Johannine writings and the Pauline Epistles, leads the Fathers to question some of the aspects of Ancient Ethics: a certain theory of individualistic autonomy, the absolute predominance of the intellect and theory of Fate. By the end of the Fourth Century, Gregory of Nyssa coined the phrase ‘Ríza katà tèn agápen’ (root of love) to express the fullness of the virtuous and mystical life. This life is enhanced, according to Nyssen, not only by an endogenous and necessary movement towards perfection, but also and primarily by the interpersonal dynamics of love, of the gift and the free response. Augustine also uses the notion of radix dilectionis as an evolution of his own ethical theory in the early decades of the Fifth Century, in the midst of his disputes with Donatists and Pelagians. Written between 413 and 418, the Tractatus in epistolam Ioannis is one of the most celebrated treatises on love in the Latin Patristic tradition. Augustine redefines the concept of Moral Goodness in the context of a personal encounter of the human and the Divine, as a fruit that emerges from the inner root of love.
Keywords Gregory of Nyssa  Augustine of Hippo  Root of love  John Chrysostom
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