Divine eros: a Christian defence of pagan love

  • Anastasia Philippa Scrutton University of Leeds


Two contrasting intuitions exist among Christians about the nature of divine love: the intuition that God loves people because of who they are, and the intuition that God loves people in spite of who they are. The former finds its conceptual voice in the idea of divine eros, and the latter in divine agape. In this paper I criticise some Protestant expressions of agape and Catholic attempts to assimilate agape and eros. I then argue in favour of divine eros, challenging the objections that God’s love cannot involve need, desire, sexuality and conditionality. Finally, in dialogue with Vincent Brümmer’s The Model of Love, I pre-empt two objections to the form that my argument for the conditionality of divine love takes.