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The Kindness of GodMetaphor, Gender, and Religious Language$
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Janet Martin Soskice

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269502

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269502.001.0001

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(p.157) 8 Friendship
The Kindness of God

Janet Martin Soskice

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the different Christian views on friendship. According to Cicero, the one thing in human experience about whose advantage all men agree, is friendship. He implies that without friendship, life is not life at all. Friendship can only exist among good men and it contains nothing false or pretended. It also follows that friendship is reciprocal. It is mutual and involves two. Sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists study friendship as a natural phenomenon that is biologically adaptive and functionally effective. The chapter suggests friendship is fundamentally a human good. In C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves, friendship is one of the four loves. It arises on the basis of shared insight, interest, and vision. He also argues that friendships between sexes easily pass into erotic love.

Keywords:   C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Cicero, erotic love, friendship, human good

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