Agape - brotherly love
This basic concept of love affection in Christianity means love for one's neighbor. In contrast to eros, i.e.
passionate love, agape had a meaning of prolonged altruistic love.
Thanks to Christianity, which flourished in the first centuries of our era, radical changes occurred in the notion of love.
By that time, the ancient Greek traditions and traditions of other cultures entered the life of the Roman Empire, which was under constant pressure of barbarian tribes and riven with its own internal contradictions.
Female emotionality, ridiculed by the ancient Greek culture with its male "rationalistic" orientation found a new way of expressing - worshiping mystical cults that came from the Middle East. Christianity was a creative fusion of ancient Greek thinking, messianic faith and morality, borrowed from Judaism, symbolism and emotionality of mystical cults.
The new doctrine has a greater impact on the everyday life of men and women than the teaching about Platonic love.
The Christian teaching is based on the concept of love. Being the essence of God, love is regarded as an absolute truth, and the love of God is considered equal to the love of humanity as a whole. As stated in the Gospel of Matthew, "He (God) commands His sun to rise above the wicked and good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous."
The man's love for God comes from his love for himself and love for other people. An example of this is the typical Christian saying of the apostle Paul from Galatians: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Again and again, Christian preachers talked about the need to love above all those we do not like. In the end, it is thanks to this love that we realize that love for spiritually close people does not require effort. This thought is expressed in yet another passage from the Gospel of Matthew: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
The new doctrine considered the ability to pay good for evil as a sign of a true Christian and called for breaking the vicious cycle of revenge by combining love with suffering and forgiveness. This incomprehensible idea, embodied in Christ's torment, was portrayed as a sign of the Lord's love for humanity. Over the centuries, it attracted the attention of Christian writers. The same idea was stressed
Seren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), who wrote that "perfect love is a love for those who bring misfortune."
It was assumed that, spreading, a new doctrine based on the principles of love, mercy, humility and chastity, will enter the daily life of Christians and change all aspects of people's lives. Preaching fervent, passionate love, Christianity separated her from sex. Christianity with its rejection of sensuality emphasized the unjust, criminal nature of many types of behavior that were associated with adultery.
Christianity forbade the enjoyment of sex, love and marriage as such, condemning prostitution, adultery and homosexuality. At the same time, it hampered the possibility of obtaining simultaneous pleasure from love and from marriage, since, as the apostle Paul pointed out in Galatians, "the flesh desires the contrary to the spirit, and the spirit is of the opposite flesh." The vow of celibacy and virginity were glorified as the highest ideals, and men and women were encouraged to cohabit in a spiritual marriage.
Ironically, the rejection of sex in Christianity led to the opposite result, giving love and sex the same value as they did not have before. As Z. Freud noted, "it is easy to prove that the psychic significance of erotic needs is reduced, as soon as the possibility of their satisfaction is simplified. To strengthen the libido, it is necessary to suppress obstacles ... In this regard, it can be argued that the ascetic current in Christianity has given love such a psychic significance as it never had for the ancient Gentiles. "1 To overcome the will of the flesh is given to very few people. Maximilian Voloshin wrote about this:
Nature took revenge, the body mocked, Mighty, riveted at least Searched for exits. In the deep underground Monk gnoyil rebellious flesh And masturbated, praying to Madonna. Nuns, in ecstasy surrendering to the Comforter at midnight, the groom, In the last spasm could not distinguish Jesus from the face of the face of Satan ...
After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the first Christian states, it was discovered that the propaganda of celibacy prevents births. It was preferable not to burn with passion, but get married. Over time, marriage has become a sacred vow that protects spouses from promiscuity and adultery and serves the purpose of procreation.
In contrast to the ancient marriage, it is declared indissoluble. All that was considered legitimate and illegal in marriage was equally applicable to both men and women. As stated in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, sex for the sake of pleasure is worthy of an anathema: "The whore is one who fervently loves his wife." Many found the new dilemma posed by the new doctrine unsolvable and preferred to lead a celibate life in a monastery.
Nevertheless, under the auspices of Christian love, marriage acquired value, which was not in the ancient world. At least, a friendly disposition, mutual affection and respect became ideals, which every married couple should strive for. This idea is reflected in the Epistle to the Efsians: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church". In this case, the Church regards its own essence as a woman.The emergence of the female element in Christianity can be traced to the example of the gradual evolution of the cult of the Mother of God, the greatest mediator between heaven and earth, reminiscent of mothers in ordinary families in this role. The Virgin Mary was not included in the Holy Trinity due to mortality, but in the XI century. In the days of the Crusades, she was more popular than the Trinity. In those days there were even rumors that the Lord changed his gender. The Virgin Mary was credited with countless miracles; she was the inspiration for the creators of the Gothic style in architecture, in her honor were erected a number of temples and churches, the construction of which required enormous human and material costs.
The cult of the Virgin Mary led to the emergence of a completely new object of love - for the first time it was not the sacred goddess, but the terrestrial mortal woman.
According to E. Fromm, agape is the love of equals. But in reality, even being equal, we are not always equal. Because we are all people, we all need help: today I, tomorrow you. However, the fact that we need help does not mean that some of us are helpless, while others are powerful. Helplessness is a transitory state. The ability to stand and walk on your feet is a constant and universal ability.
Nevertheless, according to E. Fromm, love of the weak, love of the poor and stranger is the beginning of brotherly love. Love your own flesh and blood is not God knows what achievement. The animal also loves its young and takes care of them. The helpless loves his master, because his life depends on him. The child loves his parents, because they need him.
And only in the love of those who do not serve any purpose, love begins to unfold truly. Feeling helpless, a person develops a love for his brother. And in love for himself, he also loves someone who needs help, loves a fragile, defenseless being. Empathy involves knowledge and identification. In the Old Testament it says: "Do not offend the stranger ... you know the soul of the stranger, because you yourself were aliens in the land of Egypt" (Ex 23: 9).
E. Fromm distinguished fraternal love from other kinds of this feeling - maternal love, erotic, love of self and love of God.
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