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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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Relating Self, Others, and Sacrifice in the Ordering of Love

Relating Self, Others, and Sacrifice in the Ordering of Love

(p.168) 10 Relating Self, Others, and Sacrifice in the Ordering of Love
Altruism and Altruistic Love

Stephen J. Pope

Oxford University Press

The term love in Christian theology can mean a powerful emotional attachment, an internal psychological state such as compassion or empathy, or an attitude such as respect or good will. In the ordinary language of our culture, the term love typically connotes either a deep attraction or affection of one person for another or a deep affective bond between two friends or lovers. The “strong interpretation” requires love of neighbor as oneself and commands each Christian to count himself or herself as one and only one person among others. The “weak interpretation,” allows for special love of self, family, and friends. The “dialectical” position defines love as self-sacrifice and opposes it to all forms of self-love and relationships that provide some form of gratification to the self.

Keywords:   love, strong interpretation, weak interpretation, self-sacrifice, self-love

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