In the Image of Love: Key Sources for Theological Anthropology

Julia Meszaros and Yves De Maeseneer

What does it mean to be created ‘in the image of Love’? This question will sound surprisingly unfamiliar to most theologians. Love lies at the very heart of the Christian faith: the Scriptures proclaim God as Love (1 John 4:8), and command love of God and one’s neighbor above all else (Mk 12:30-31). And yet there is little theological precedent for developing a direct link between the doctrine of the imago dei and the crucial identification of God as Love. Recent publications in the growing field of theological anthropology place little emphasis on the intrinsic connection between love and the human person. Love’s relative unimportance in the field of theological anthropology contrasts with the current rediscovery of the theme of love within both philosophy and theology at large.

Anthropos is proud to present a special issue, which hopes to fill this gap by bringing this general retrieval of the theme of love to bear on theological perspectives on the human person. We proposed the phrase ‘in the image of Love’ as an invitation to examine the relation between theological anthropology and love throughout the history of Christian thought. Each essay in our volume approaches the theme of love and the human person by retrieving and creatively engaging with the thought of a key voice from within the Christian tradition (theologians, philosophers, spiritual writers from different denominational backgrounds). Our contributors pay close attention to the tensions, shifts, and conflicts at stake in a given author’s thought on love and the human person. The volume thus has a genealogical dimension, delving into often forgotten layers beneath our current, late modern view of the human/love. It thereby assists future theological anthropological discussions in the much-needed task of both integrating the crucial theme of love and formulating more historically grounded perspectives. This special issue also reveals the ways in which theologians have attempted to respond to the challenge posed by the modern subject while retaining the idea that the human creature is called by Love and called to Love, and provides an alternative to Nygren’s opposition of agape and eros.

In the Image of Love: Key Voices for Theological Anthropology. Edited by Julia Meszaros & Yves De Maeseneer, published as special issue in International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (2017) 1-2. DOI: 10.1080/21692327.2016.1246198

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. In the Image of Love: Key Voices for Theological Anthropology (Julia Meszaros & Yves De Maeseneer)

2. Loving God in and through the self: Trinitarian love in St. Augustine (Matthew Drever)

3. ‘A power that deifies the human and humanizes God’: the psychodynamics of love and hypostatic deification according to Maximos the Confessor (Luis Josué Salés & Aristotle Papanikolaou)

4. The reciprocity of spiritual love in William of Saint-Thierry and Hadewijch (John Arblaster & Paul Verdeyen)

5. Martin Luther and Cajetan: divinity (Antti Raunio)

6. Selfless love: Pur Amour in Fénelon and Malebranche (Marc De Kesel)

7. A paradigm of permeability: Franz von Baader on love (Joris Geldhof)

8. Søren Kierkegaard and the romantics: passion (Pia Søltoft)

9. Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche: power/weakness (Ekaterina Poljakova)

10. ‘I look at him and he looks at me’: Stein’s phenomenological analysis of love (Claudia Mariéle Wulf)

11. The unity of reciprocal love: the charism of Chiara Lubich and the theology of Klaus Hemmerle (Piero Coda)