Augustine's Divine Love


Author: WANG Min’an, Professor, School of Humanities, Tsinghua University.


Augustine discusses many types of love: the love of God, neighborly love, and self-love. As with Plato’s distinctions of love, in Augustine too different levels of love emerge. If Plato regards the love of truth as the highest level of love, Augustine regards the love of God as the highest. If Plato’s love is a gradual ascent, Augustine’s love is a continuous loop. The love of God is the foundation, but there is also a circle of love between one’s love to God and to his/her neighbor. It is through such love of God that salvation and immortality can be achieved, just as Plato’s love of truth leads to immortality. This paper argues that Augustine’s love is in many ways a rewriting of Plato’s love.


Augustine, the love of God, neighborly love, the cycle of love, Immortal

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