Bernard V. Brady
Bernard Brady has given us a rare, delightful, and thought-provoking book—a volume that belongs on the desk or the bed-stand of anyone in search of the rich and varied dimensions of Christian love. Christians are taught that God is love and are commanded to love, their neighbors and their enemies. These truths are not controversial. What is controversial and, indeed, has been controversial throughout the history of Christianity is the meaning of this love. This book explores the tradition of Christian reflection on the meaning, and experience of love, loving, and being loved.
Many books have been written about Christian love, but no book has gathered together this kind of primary source material and covered such a wide range of perspectives, allowing the reader to engage directly with the thought and experience of some of the greatest Christian minds on the topic of love. Bernard Brady covers with remarkable clarity the breadth and depth of discussions on Christian love from the Bible to contemporary experience to create this-a survey of how Christians through the ages have understood love.
Beginning of course with the Bible, Brady examines the key writings and thinkers on the nature of Christian love: St. Augustine; mystics such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Hadewich, and Julian of Norwich; the great tradition and literature of courtly love, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Sören Kierkegaard, and others. In addition, Brady devotes chapters to several 20th century figures whose lives seemingly embodied Christian love: Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Pope John Paul II. Finally, Christian Love addresses contemporary deliberations over the meaning of love with an analysis of the modern writings of Martin D'Arcy, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jules Toner, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Gene Outka, Margaret Farley, Edward Vacek, and Don Browning. In a synthesizing concluding chapter, Brady offers his own insightful and introspective understanding of the substance of Christian love, suggesting that it is an affective affirmation of another, that it is both responsive and unitive, and that it is steadfast and enduring.
As a beautiful contemplative companion to one's own spiritual understanding, or as a thoughtful and meaningful gift, Christian Love is in every sense a treasure to behold, read, and share with those you love.
Acknowledgments and Permisssions
1 Love in the Old Testament: God's Love and Human Loves
2 Love in the New Testament: The Great Commandment
3 Augustine: Love God and Love All Things in God
4 Mystical Love: Union with God
5 Troubadours and Troubled Romance
6 Thomas Aquinas: Friendship with God
7 Martin Luther: The Christian Is Servant to All
8 Christian Love Is Sacrificial Love
9 Love Activists
10 Self-Regard, Other-Regard, and Mutuality
11 Reflections on Christian Love
"This collection provides direct access to some of the most distinctive and influential biblical and Christian statements on love. It situates these through succinct accounts of the circumstances in which they occur and the help of insights from a wide variety of scholars. The volume could be very useful as a text for classes not only on the subject of Christian love but as an overview of basic directions of Christian thought over the centuries. It is also accessible enough for more general reflection for Christians as individuals or in groups."—Horizons
"With a judicious use of secondary sources and penetrating personal commentary, Bernard V. Brady introduces the reader to the major texts dealing with Christian love from the Scriptures through all the periods of church history down to the present. Students and teachers alike will learn much from the work of this very talented pedagogue."—Charles E. Curran, Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University and author of Catholic Social Teaching 1891-Present
"This a fine collection of representative writings from the most important figures in the history of Christian love, as well as a helpful collection of contemporary approaches to this central topic in theology. Bernard Brady has done a valuable service to the field in making these fundamental resources readily available for students and faculty alike."—Stephen J. Pope, chair, Theology Department, Boston College
"'I love, therefore I am.' With these words Bernard Brady begins a remarkable journey through the history of Christian love, and an able guide he is! Starting with love's presentation in the scriptures, Brady introduces us to Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Abelard and Heloise, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Soren Kierkegaard, and other major writers in the Christian tradition of love. Carefully researched and engagingly written, Brady's book will become a treasured resource for anyone wanting to explore how Christians have thought about love. Most importantly, Brady shows why the universal human vocation must be the vocation to love."—Paul J. Wadell, St. Norbert College
Bernard V. Brady is a professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas and the author of The Moral Bond of Community: Justice and Discourse in Christian Morality.
320 pp., 7 x 10
320 pp., 7 x 10