Seminary/School of Divinity
Date of Paper/Work
Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
William Stevenson Ph.D., Paul Niskanen Ph.D., Rev. Pietro Rossotti
This thesis formalizes an argument that Pope Benedict XVI mentions in his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est. The argument is based on an interpretation of Salvation History expressed in the Scriptures that God's love for man should be understood as eros. Benedict expresses this conclusion in the context of the development of the concept of eros starting with the works of Plato which were brought into the Christian context by Saint Augustine and ultimately rejected by Andres Nygren. Benedict proposes that an understanding of love that removes eros lacks an authentic understanding of God's love. Furthermore, throughout his pontificate, he expresses the importance of a proper understanding of love for the life of the Christian. This argument is made in three stages. The first provides the context of the history of eros. The second expresses Benedict's understanding of eros. The third provides the evidence for Benedict's conclusion.
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Reinhardt, Charles R., "Pope Benedict XVI on Divine Eros" (2020). School of Divinity Master’s Theses and Projects. 27.