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Love's Grateful StrivingA Commentary on Kierkegaard's Works of Love$
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M. Jamie Ferreira

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130256

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195130251.001.0001

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Love's Debt

Love's Debt

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter Eight Love's Debt
Source:
Love's Grateful Striving
Author(s):

M. Jamie Ferreira (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195130251.003.0009

God's love for us – a radical gift – entails that we have an “infinite debt” of love to others. This notion excludes the idea of love as repayment; it is, moreover, a fulfillable duty, because Christ fulfilled it and because we are called to imitate Christ. It is feasible as long as we distinguish between the completion of our duty (which we cannot achieve) and the loving performance of it at a given moment (which we can achieve). Although the command generates “offense,” the “as yourself” reinstates limits on self‐sacrifice; justice is one such limit.

Keywords:   explanation, forgiveness, mitigating, reconciliation, relationship, self‐deception

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