Agape Love: Tradition In Eight World Religions Ebook
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The tradition of agape, or unconditional love, is not exclusive to any one religion. Actually, it is a major underlying principle found in religions worldwide. The concept of altruistic love is one that challenges the spiritual person to “love your enemies,” or to “love without thought of return.” It is a love that flows out to others in the form of compassion, kindness, tenderness, and charitable giving.
Buddhists have a path of compassion, where caring for others becomes the motivating force behind existence. Hindus have a branch of yoga, the heart-centered path, that leads to enlightenment through an overwhelming love for God that takes the form of loving all of humanity. Eastern religions, such as Taoism and Confucianism, see transcendent love as an essential part of true wisdom.
The Jewish faith carries the essential message of agape in this passage from Leviticus: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart… but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” — Lev. 19:17f.
This is very similar to the New Testament passage: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” — Matthew 22:39.
The universal theme of love is found in all religious traditions, whether Buddhist, Christian, Islam, or others. As we begin to realize that all religions have at their core this spiritual principle of love, we can develop a sense of common humanity. The religious tradition of agape love examined in this book will serve as an inspiration for those who are learning to grow in compassion and love for all people.
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