For the Love of God: Agape

Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (1):3-21 (1996)
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Although Anders Nygren deserves a lot of the credit for launching the debate about the Christian understanding of love, his insistence on the distinctiveness of agape has been severely challenged by advocates for the sensuousness of eros and the mutuality of philia. The most serious challenge, however, may come from defenses of agape where the altruistic distinctiveness of the theological thrust is qualified by the claims of an ethical horizon. In spite of his disservice to eros and his neglect of philia, Nygren deserves to be heard in his insistence that agape is a unique concept, and that this uniqueness is due particularly to its theological source and reference



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