Relating Self, Others, and Sacrifice in the Ordering of Love

Stephen J. Pope

in Altruism and Altruistic Love

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143584
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848119 | DOI:
Relating Self, Others, and Sacrifice in the Ordering of Love

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The term love in Christian theology can mean a powerful emotional attachment, an internal psychological state such as compassion or empathy, or an attitude such as respect or good will. In the ordinary language of our culture, the term love typically connotes either a deep attraction or affection of one person for another or a deep affective bond between two friends or lovers. The “strong interpretation” requires love of neighbor as oneself and commands each Christian to count himself or herself as one and only one person among others. The “weak interpretation,” allows for special love of self, family, and friends. The “dialectical” position defines love as self-sacrifice and opposes it to all forms of self-love and relationships that provide some form of gratification to the self.

Keywords: love; strong interpretation; weak interpretation; self-sacrifice; self-love

Chapter.  7060 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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