In the same way, as in these ideas, the idea of God in Augustine unites Neoplatonic elements – which are always mystical – and ethical personality, and the uniting power is Augustine’s idea of love. Now let me say a few words about it before 1 go to the other problem, the problem of God, because this idea of love is rightly put in the foreground now. Nygren’s criticism of Christian theology combining eros and agape is predominantly a criticism of Augustine. We have the synthesis in Augustine, and in Nygren – the Swedish theologian who wrote “Eros and Agape” , as you probably know. wants to have them not united but in contradiction. And of course on this basis Augustine must mostly be attacked. Nygren is right that in Augustine there are both elements, the agape element (the element of love, in the New Testament sense, personal, forgiving, – charity (caritas) , – -all this is in his idea. the personalistic Divine forgiving character. But there is also in it the agape element – God is the highest good for Augustine, and all creatures are longing for it, desiring to be united with it, to fulfill itself in intuiting eternally the Divine abundance. The agape element is especially emphasized when we speak of God moving down to man in caritas – 1 prefer the Latin word to the very much distorted word “charity” – in becoming humble in Christ in exercising grace and mercy; the participation in the lowest, the elevation of the lowest to the highest, Eros, on the other side, drives from below to above, from the lowest to the highest.
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