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HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


WOOD, Hannelie. A Christian understanding of the significance of love of oneself in loving God and neighbour: Towards an integrated self-love reading. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2016, vol.72, n.3, pp.1-10. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article addresses the meaning of the great commandment of love (Mt. 22:35-40) with a focus on the understanding of self-love as considered within a Christian context. Christians in general understand the commandment as applying to love of God and one's neighbour. The reference to self-love tends to be ignored or misunderstood, especially when love of self is viewed in the context of the Christian virtues of humility and self-mortification. The concept of narcissism (self-preoccupation or self-glorification) has devastating effects on relationships with God, human beings and the world. In the Christian context self-love is not a third commandment and it is not clearly outlined in Scripture. Furthermore, the love of oneself seems to be the norm by which the love of God and neighbour are measured. It appears therefore that by bringing narcissism into the equation of self-love, a better understanding can be achieved of what a healthy Christian self-love should entail. Furthermore, a brief discussion on the views of the self as mind, emotions and will as well as agape, philia and eros is required for a proposed integrated self-love reading.

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