Agape – words of wisdom

I have a window of opportunity today because on Thursday I will be talking about Novel Publicity and next Monday I will be posting a review of a novel ‘Leah’s Wake’ for their current ‘Blog Tour’. This leaves me with a single post to fill and a chance to share with you one of my favourite words:

The word Agapé is a precious word.

(I have put an accent on the e so as not to confuse it with the adjective ‘agape- mouth open wide,’ although it does not seem to appear like that in the dictionary.

‘Agape ( /ˈæɡəpiː/[1] or /əˈɡɑːpeɪ/; Classical Greek: ἀγάπη, agápē; Modern Greek: αγάπη [aˈɣapi]) is one of the Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for mankind. Many have thought that this word represents divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love.’

Quote from Wikipedia

Not that I have used it in any of my writing, although I believe that my main character in Riduna, Harriet, followed the priciple when she watched the love of her life sail away from Riduna to fulfil his desire to explour the world. Although, in one of the earlier chapters of Riduna, the teenage Harriet also discusses her understanding of the nature of love with her best friend Jane, building a graphic illustration of their simplistic notions.

Is any form of love ‘unconditional’?

Maybe that of a mother for her baby –  until all sorts of human elements enter the equation as the baby becomes a child and then a young adult.  

The word agape is also better known in its biblical sense where it is seen more often as a noun than a verb.

I believe that my fondness for the word agape stems from my aspirations in their purest sense. We all like to think that:

  •  We place each other’s needs above our own
  • We always celebrate the good fortune of others 
  • We know when and how to let go for the greater good

 I also imagine that it is a goal we rarely achieve.

1 Comment

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One response to “Agape – words of wisdom

  1. Comment via email
    Agape, the word,its etymology and the philosophy behind it, has intrigued me for years, ever since while on holiday in Greece, I saw graffiti along the
    Agape, the word,its etymology and the philosophy behind it, has intrigued me for years, ever since while on holiday in Greece, I saw graffiti along lines of “John Loves Jane” .

    Originally, I saw it and its counterpart (eros) as being two very different things, but over time and reflection I have come to perceive the situation as much more of a spectrum, and an infinitely fluid one at that. At either end of the spectrum they can be very different emotions. However, in so many situations – which can alter as quickly and fleetingly as feelings are prone to do- our emotional responses can veer between agape and eros, sometimes confusingly so (certainly in the case of ordinary heterosexuals!). Our natural desire to define, compartmentalize and clarify words and their meanings can so easily create confusion when applied to the concept of love. Is this because it is a subject which ultimately defies analysis? How do you analyze a feeling which incorporates agape and eros but whose relativity alters from person to person, emotional state to emotional state and minute to minute?

    Agape? Eros? Their relation to each other and those around us? At this stage of my life, I can only feel that they are Life’s Great Mysteries…..

    Marcus Webb

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