Neighbour‐Love, Natural Loves, and Social Relations

C. Stephen Evans

in Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199272174
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602061 | DOI:
Neighbour‐Love, Natural Loves, and Social Relations

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When Kierkegaard tells us that we must not make ‘distinctions’ in our love, he does not mean that neighbour-love cannot coexist with such natural loves as romantic love and friendship. On the contrary: Kierkegaard believes that neighbour-love teaches us how to love the friend and the beloved as we should. Concrete, local activity is not the only kind of neighbour-love that is possible or appropriate. Broader, cooperative efforts for those whom one may never meet fall within the scope of the divine command to love one’s neighbour as oneself, and this may require political and social action of a type that Kierkegaard himself does not endorse.

Keywords: cooperative action; friendship; Kierkegaard; neighbour-love; romantic love; social action; Works of Love

Chapter.  7830 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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