Amor Dei, "love of God" raises three questions: How do we know God is love? How do we experience love of God? How free are we to love God? This book presents three kinds of love, worldly, spiritual, and divine to understand God's love. The work begins with Augustine's Confessions highlighting his Manichean and Neoplatonic periods before his conversion to Christianity. Augustine's confrontation with Pelagius anticipates the unresolved disputes concerning God's love and free will. In the sixteenth-century the Italian humanist, Gasparo Contarini introduces the notion of "divine amplitude" to demonstrate how God's goodness is manifested in the human agent. Pierre de Berulle, Guillaume Gibieuf, and Nicolas Malebranche show connections with Contarini in the seventeenth-century controversies relating free will and divine love. In response to the free will dispute, the Scottish philosopher, William Chalmers, offers his solution. Cornelius Jansen relentlessly asserts his anti-Pelagian interpretation of Augustine stirring up more controversy. John Norris, Malebranche's English disciple, exchanges his views with Mary Astell and Damaris Masham. In the tradition of Cambridge Platonism, Ralph Cudworth conveys a God who "sweetly governs." The organization of sections represents the love of God in ascending-descending movements demonstrating that, "human love is inseparable from divine love."
Kenneth A. Bryson: Editorial Foreword Preface Introduction Augustine: The Experience of Love Interpreting Love in Augustine Nature and Knowledge Problems with Love in Augustine Truth, Conversion, and Conflict Augustine's Intellectual Journey Manichean Conversion Plotinian Influences From "Darkness" to the Free Will Augustine and Pelagianism Augustine on Grace Augustinianism: Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Early Modern Philosophy Gasparo Contarini L'Ecole Francaise and Pierre de Berulle Guillaume Gibieuf William Chalmers Jansen of Ypres Scotus Eriugena and Dionysius the Areopagite Divine Amplitude: The Agency of Love Malebranche and the Love of God Malebranche, Lamy, and Norris "Vision in God" John Norris: Malebranche's Disciple God's Knowledge Three Letters to Bernard Lamy Vision in God and Divine Love Sweetness of God Ralph Cudworth and the Divine Free Will Cudworth's God of Love Human Response to Divine Love Cudworth and Augustine Conclusion Works Cited About the Author Index