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The Love That Satisfies: Reflections on Eros and Agape Hardcover – July 31, 2007
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About the Author
Christopher West is recognized around the globe for his work promoting an integral, biblical vision of human life, love, and sexuality. He serves as a research fellow and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute near Philadelphia. He has also lectured on a number of other prestigious faculties, offering graduate and undergraduate courses at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha.
In addition, Christopher is the best-selling author of several books, including Theology of the Body for Beginners, Good News About Sex and Marriage, and Heaven s Song, and is also one of the most sought-after speakers in the Church today. Christopher and his wife, Wendy, live with their children near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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Top Customer Reviews
Reading Deus Caritas Est before I never realized how it matches up so closely to John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Though this is not surprising and any way and Pope John Paul II's understanding is quite useful in understanding and getting the most out of Pope Benedict's first encyclical. While Deus Caritas Est is not that difficult to read, it is nice to take a more leisurely stroll through some of the key ideas in the first part and to explore them more closely in the context of our society today. The book's nine chapters prominently deal with Eros and Agape, what they are, their proper relationship, and their common misunderstandings. Like just about everything in the Catholic faith once again it is a case of both/and and not the divisive separation the so-called sexual revolution has give them. It is not Eros that was poisoned by Christians, but Agape that was poisoned and a wedge driven between Agape and Eros by our culture.
Throughout the book Christopher West looks at the fruits of the "sexual revolution" which he says should be called the "pornographic revolution." Like many revolutions they often end up with a dictator in control, and this case it was the dictatorship of libido. He uses the examples of people like St. Augustine, Hugh Hefner, Bono, Truman Burbank (from the movie The Truman Show), and others to illustrate his points. The book though does not take a confrontational view in the culture wars, but gives us a proper understanding and the hope that goes with it. He also describes the tendencies to either Angelism (spirit against the body) or animalism (body to the neglect of the spirit) and the damage these unbalanced views cause. As with all heresies and errors it is the exaggeration of one truth and the diminishing of another that provides the most potent damage. It is only when we start to realize God's love for us that we can learn to respond in a fully human manner where Eros and Agape our properly balanced.
Christopher West as produced a quite magnificent book that takes serious theological ideas down to a level easily absorbed. I truly got a lot out of this book and it has given me much to think about and makes me want to read the Pope's encyclical once again to get even more out of it.
The answer to my latter question came on page 32, that marriage is to be an icon of the Trinity, "to reveal, to proclaim and anticipate the eternal union of Christ and the Church". Engaging in premarital sex would then be us not pursuing our destiny to be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), which is the call of every disciple.
I think the answer to my former question comes in two ways. Firstly, eros (human, erotic love) is meant to express agape (divine, sacrificial love). The relationship between husband and wife is meant to express Christ's relationship with the Church. Secondly, the relationship between the two loves is that eros is "ascending" love while agape is "descending" love.
I stand to be corrected but I feel like the book could have benefited from a stronger editing so that the points come out clearer or the train of thought flow more logically. Maybe clear sub-headings may have helped .