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date: 08 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter, which explores conceptions of love in modern European thought, first discusses premodern Christian thoughts on love and then moves on to Enlightenment thinking on love, which focuses on the human capacity to love. It considers three theologies of love – from Søren Kierkegaard, Anders Nygren, and Karl Barth – which have remained very influential in contemporary theology. The chapter also describes four approaches – from Friedrich Schleiermacher, Paul Tillich, Karl Rahner, and Pope Benedict XVI – that attempt to overcome the separation between divine and human love, and to explore the potential of human love within the dynamic and transformative divine–human network of love. It concludes by identifying seven among the emerging challenges to contemporary theologies of love.

Keywords: Christian theology, human love, divine love, Søren Kierkegaard, Anders Nygren, Karl Barth, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Paul Tillich, Karl Rahner, Pope Benedict XVI

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