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8 - Unconditional Love and Spiritual Virtues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2012

Paul Moser
Affiliation:
Loyola University, Chicago
Michael McFall
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
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Summary

Some Thoughts About Wisdom

The apostle Paul tells us that Christian teaching will appear to be foolishness to those outside the spiritual community and that what counts as wisdom there is actually a doctrine of death (1 Cor. 1:18; Bible quotations are from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) unless otherwise noted). One of the teachings that are likely to appear foolish to those whose minds reflect “the wisdom of the world” (v. 21) is Jesus’ command to love our enemies. Christians regard that command itself as a piece of wisdom, and the understanding of the command as required for those who would be really wise.

In the following pages I shall ruminate philosophically about what it is to love our enemies, “processing” the wisdom of Jesus and the apostles in such a way as to try to get “inside” it, to understand it better. Here philosophy will be in the service of a wisdom that does not originate in philosophy, at least as the word philosophy is mostly understood in the history of philosophy. As a discipline, philosophy aims at understanding – in the current application, a better understanding of the command to love our enemies. Wisdom itself is a kind of understanding, and so the application of philosophy to a piece of Christian wisdom is natural and holds the potential to increase the wisdom of members of the Christian community.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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References

Aquinas, Thomas 1981 Summa TheologicaWestminster, MDChristian ClassicsGoogle Scholar
AristotleNicomachean Ethics 1980 Ross, W. D.OxfordOxford University PressGoogle Scholar
Kant, Immanuel 1996 Groundwork of the Metaphysics of MoralsMary, J.CambridgeCambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
Plato 1997 ApologyCooper, John M.IndianapolisHackett Publishing Company17Google Scholar
Plato 1997 RepublicCooper, John M.IndianapolisHackett Publishing Company971Google Scholar
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