Theology of Love
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 312
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This book explores the different dimensions of Christian love. It argues that all expressions of love are wrestling with the challenge of otherness and hence with the experience of transcendence. The development of Christian concepts of love is discussed with particular reference to the different horizons and the variety of approaches to love in the Bible, Augustine, medieval theology, Protestant agapetheology, Catholic approaches to desire, and contemporary philosophy and sociology. The discussion of the rich and often problematic heritage of expressions of personal, communal and religious love enables this study to develop a critical and constructive theology of Christian love for our time. This book demonstrates the diversity in the Christian tradition of love and thus offers a critical perspective on previous and present impositions of homogenous concepts of love. The book invites the reader to an in-depth examination of the potential of Christian love and its particular institutions for the development of personal and communal forms of Christian discipleship. The traditional separation between agape love and eroticism is overcome in favour of an integrated model of love that acknowledges both God's gift of love and the potential of every woman, man and child to contribute to the transformative praxis of love in church and society.
'From the first pages of this book Professor Jeanrond states his intention to offer praxis - how we 'do' love - rather than describing, however completely, a history or dogmatic theory. Love is now described in its institutional and political manifestations: Church, family, friendship, chastity, and sexuality. Love now offers a challenge to charity, to the individual, to global and ecclesial society. Love informs those individual and collective relationships by which we are fulfilled. Love is that which guides all interaction including our interaction with God. It is in this framework that Jeanrod explores the doctrines of creation, salvation, and forgiveness, revealing the self-giving love of God. Sensitive to the questions of our time, the tone of this section is more reflective on pastoral and spiritual concerns, showing that theology need not be separated into kerygmatic or dogmatic categories but is at its best when it endeavours to embrace both. No-one who gives time to this seriously well-researched work will ever again lazily use the word Love. Instead, they will find this book to be an indispensible tool in understanding more clearly both the human and religious experience of, and language about, love.'--Sanford Lakoff "The Furrow "