Chapter 5: Christian Love for Justice and Peace, by Ronald Stone

Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice
by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

Chapter 5: Christian Love for Justice and Peace, by Ronald Stone

(Ronald Stone is Professor of Christian Ethics at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, USA.)


Our Christian contributions to the struggles for social justice make use of the broad social resources of our institutions and our thought. These Christian contributions also utilize our particular conceptions of Christian love. This essay, a contribution honoring the thought of our brother and mentor K.C. Abraham, focuses on the meaning of Christian love as a foundation for our explorations on ethics and the struggles for justice in our pluralistic societies.

Walter Rauschenbusch, the leading interpreter of the social gospel in the early 20th century, is recognized to have the Kingdom of God as his major concept. However, he could rise to lyrical passion in interpreting Christianity as a religion of love. Paul’s chapter 13 of I Corinthians summarised the Christian message and was the motif of Dare We Be Christians? 1 His little book of 1914 is written as a book of inspiration and perhaps apology for Christianity. It is not an academic treatise that bears up under analysis. That, however, is the nature of much of the Christian literature written for ordinary people like the conflicted Corinthians and not particularly for professors. Aside from the hymn-like praise of love its meaning is found in love as the force that brings human beings together.

Love is the social instinct, the power of special coherence, the sine qua non of human society. What was Paul requiring but the social solidarity of the Corinthians when he called for them to assert their unity in Christ? "In demanding love he demands social solidarity? 2 Rauschenbusch holds to this meaning of love as that which calls people together as he discusses sexuality, family, parenthood, social amelioration, charity towards the helpless groups, patriotism. Love was the force that brought people together and formed society.3 Love by business people was the force he called on to reform society in this book as he dismissed class divisiveness as separating what should be united. The demand of love is universal excluding no one. Towards his conclusion he moves from Pauline solidarity to Johannine theology "God is love." He calls all Christians to affirm it and live it. The little volume does not reflect the sociological sophistication of his earlier volume Christianity and the Social Crisis 4 which dealt realistically from a hopeful socialist perspective with class conflict. Nor does it reflect the theological development of the latter volume A Theology for the Social Gospel,5 but this latter volume refers to the social portrait of love in Dare We Be Christians? and the earlier volume interpreted Jesus’ teaching of the virtue of love largely as social attraction and solidarity.

The fundamental virtue in the ethics of Jesus was love, because love is the society-making quality. Human life originates in love. It is love that holds together the basal human organization, the ....... . Love creates fellowship.6

Rauschenbusch concentrates his theological reflection on the Kingdom of God and its reforming social implications. His discussions on the concept of God emphasize the reformation caused in the concept of God when it is undertaken by different social groups. His hopes are to democratize and make ethically relevant the concept of God. Consequently, most of his writings on the double love commandment is on the love of neighbour, and the imperative of love of God does not receive equal emphasis. It should be noted that for Rauschenbusch the community defines the concept of God while love produces community.

Though writing at the same time neither Rauschenbusch nor Ernst Troeltsch utilized the work of the other. Rauschenbusch might have raised Troeltsch’s estimate of the dun prospects for a revival of social Christianity. Troeltsch would have dimmed some of Rauschenbusch’s optimism. Troeltsch’s The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches only came to have great influence in the United States after its English publication in 193l.7 Both of the Niebuhr brothers had come under its influence using it much earlier from its German editions. Though Rauschenbusch, the son of an immigrant German and who himself had studied in Germany, did not rely on Troeltsch’s major work of 1911.

For Troeltsch the essence of the Christian ethic by the end of the nineteenth century had come to mean four essential theses, all derived from the double love commandment. The first is the personalistic theism recognized in the unity of heart, mind and soul oriented toward God. The second is the social solidarity which in love embraces everyone and grounded in metaphysical reality overcomes competition, compulsion, reserve and strife. The third is the ethical orientation of "mutual recognition, confidence, and care for others" which resolves the inescapable issues of equality and inequality. Finally, the Christian ethos produces to relieve the suffering of the world which is inevitable. Beyond these four contributions all desirable from the character of life confronted with the love commandants is the vision and promise of overcoming life in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is for God to realize, but Christian life is also lived anticipatorily in it now.8

Before coming to his concluding theses Troeltsch had ransacked nineteen centuries of Christian history condensing it in a thousand-page text. What had begun as a religious idea of reality and ethics had in its evolution compromised with both the world and other philosophies. Such a compromise was necessary and fitting and each age would need to work out its own compromises between the ethic of Jesus and its historical reality. His present Lutheran church was ill-equipped to do so and its reality cast a Teutonic gloom over his historical perspective.

Jesus’ ethic or the gospel ethic seemed straightforward to Troeltsch. Jesus’ inspiration was religious and social, it came from its relationship to God. Troeltsch’s insistence upon "the religious idea" is similar to "spirituality" discussed later. The first concept is the Kingdom of God as meaning "the rule of God upon earth." Its date of completion is unknown, but probably soon. Jesus called followers to a purity of heart and a radical loyalty to God. It involved self-renunciation and a centring of life upon God. The way was severe but not socially radical in Troeltsch’s perspective. In emphasizing the "spirituality" of Jesus he wrote:

To love one’s neighbor, that is, that in intercourse with him we are to reveal to him or to arouse in him the Divine spirit of love.9

Once establishing the religious devotional quality of Jesus and his call to discipleship, Troeltsch can then investigate the sociological characteristics of the "gospel ethic". Without wanting to deny a distinction between spirituality and political economy, it is wise to set aside some of Troeltsch’s extreme statements. Jesus’ ministry was brief and the records are fragmentary, but we need not agree with Troeltsch that Jesus did not fight oppression, did not found a church, and had no idea of the state. The conflicts of Jesus with authorities, the organization of the twelve, and his political-religious execution all assert that Troeltsch had more to learn about Jesus. Of course, Troeltsch still had to go through World War I, see his church changed, and serve in a revolutionary government before his last thought on social order was written.

These theses of the socially powerless Jesus, the compromise of the gospel ethic with world and other systems of thought, the centrality of the love commandments, the need for a viable social ethic utilizing social philosophies, and the understanding by all this in relationship to the history of social philosophies had a forceful impact upon both H. Richard Niebuhr and his older brother Reinhold Niebuhr. It controlled Reinhold’s ethic throughout his career. H. Richard Niebuhr interpreted Troeltsch’s work in a typological method in Christ and Culture’10 while Reinhold’s first book Does Civilization Need Religion?11 presents it in a linear model. He then continued to rewrite this history of the ideal hopes and norms and the reality for most of his career and in many ways in his books until Man’s Nature and His Communities,12 his last volume.

Reinhold Niebuhr was not centrally interested in exact definitions of ethical terms. He was more committed to writing and speaking so that people would be encouraged in compassionate actions. In his course on theological ethics he explicated agape in terms of the considerations of Anders Nygren, M.C. D’Arcy, Soren Kierkegaard, and Emil Brunner while referring to the classical sources in scripture, Plato and Aristotle. In the end he found a middle position between theological liberalism which he believed regarded agape as a human possibility and Anders Nygren who regarded it as a human impossibility. For Niebuhr agape is a vision of life that is obligatory upon humanity for it reflects human possibilities under grace. The rich young ruler who came to Jesus knew that beyond particular requirements which he had fulfilled there was a deeper commandment. The requirement of total commitment was too much. The disciples asked how anyone could be saved, and Jesus responded salvation was only possible with God and not by human effort. Agape as an expression of love contained reference to the perfection of the unity of person in heart, mind and spirit in relationship to God and to the harmonious relationship of one to the neighbor. Under conditions of existence either harmony with God or neighbor was not to be normally expected. "Love is the final form of that righteousness."13 Love as the ultimate rule of human relations is for Niebuhr a derivative of the complete faith and trust in God. The further extension of this to justice as a work of love is considered elsewhere in this volume.

Anders Nygren, Lutheran bishop of Lund, contributed a sharp distinction between agape and eros to the 20th century discussions. In a profound survey of the history of the discussion of love in biblical, classical, and Christian sources he concluded agape was the central Christian idea. In its truest form in Martin Luther agape as God’s disinterested love for humanity was radically distinguished from eros as human love for the good. Love for Martin Luther and Nygren was not human love but divine love which God poured through humanity as through a tube. It had ideally nothing to do with human striving or fulfilling a law. This meaning of love ignored egocentricity or self-love. Only one loved by God and blessed could pass on this love.14 Metaphorically agape flowed down from God’s love to neighbor love to love for God and denied self-love; eros flowed up from self-love to love for God, to neighbour love and ignored God’s love. Now Nygren recognized these distinctions as ideal types or motifs which in many Christian thinkers and practices were mixed. But to the extent possible he wanted to sharpen the contrast and to theologically overcome the Roman Catholic tradition which had, from Augustine until Martin Luther, mixed agape and eros under the motif of charity. The ideal types may be too ideal in their presentation. Are not most expressions of Christian love mixtures of grace, obligation, trust, and even unfaith? If God desires human response, is even the divine love free of eros? But most of all any type of Christian agape that attaches little emphasis to human love to God as Nygren’s schematic does 15 is deficient, for that is still the first commandment.

The realization that Nygren has divided agape and eros too sharply requires that the understanding of agape be sought elsewhere. Gene Outka surveyed the literature on agape from 1930, the culmination of Nygren’s research, to 1967, the date of his dissertation defense at Yale, and refined his work with Basil Mitchell at Oxford in 1968-69. His work combines knowledge of Continental theology, American Christian ethics, and British analytic philosophy. He succeeds in sharing the conceptual difficulties in discussing this love imperative.

He chose to restrict his work to concerns about agape as neighbour love recognizing that such a choice exacted a price.16 "Agape is a regard for the neighbour which in crucial respects is independent and unalterable"17 He set out to analyse how agape is the requirement: "to consider the interest of others and not simply his own."18 The choice not to examine more fully the reference to love God in the first commandment led to neglect of obvious theological references in the texts he analyzed. An example is a very full paragraph of H. Richard Niebuhr’s from The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry 19 in which Outka claims "The richness of the meaning of neighbour regard is nicely exemplified" 20 But the text actually is referenced to the love of God and neighbour by Niebuhr on the preceding and following page. One cannot explain Christian neighbour love without reference to the love of God and the meaning of Christ. Christian ethics without their theological context appear conceptually confused. The left tablet of the ten commandments presupposes the right tablet and the second commandment depends upon the first and the theological context of the New Testament witness to Christ.

It seemed strange to find the Christian ethics of Reinhold Niebuhr discussed under the rubric of "self-sacrifice" in Outka’s book because Niebuhr never talked much about "Self-sacrifice" in his ethics courses. His courses were more about the history of Christian Ethics, power issues in society, relative natural norms, criteria of justice. etc. The 300-page book of his writings entitled Love and Justice edited by D.B. Robertson discusses love as "the ideal of pure disinterestedness,"21 "an attitude of the ideal of spirit without any prudential or selfish consideration."22 and "love in which every life affirms the interest of the other." 23

Niebuhr does talk about sacrificial love as an ideal and also as a solvent in human affairs. Christ’s acts in accepting the cross and initiating atonement were sacrificial love. So Niebuhr refers to sacrificial love as the pinnacle of love. Agape has for Niebuhr qualities of ecstasy which define "the ultimate heroic possibilities of human existence (including of course martyrdom).24

But agape is also forgiving love in emulation of God and a universal sense of obligation which transcends particular obligations. We are obligated to love which is the meaning of love affirmed by Outka as equal regard for the welfare of the other. Outka has discovered a dimension of love implied in Jesus’ commandment, but in his neglect of the other dimensions in Niebuhr’s interpretation he misses aspects of Christian agape. Agape includes self-sacrifice as in Christ or in Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Niebuhr and Outka’s own history. Niebuhr was concerned that agape not be reduced simply to achievable good acts that liberals suggest as the meaning of love. They may be loving, but they may lack the profundity of agape. The differences between Niebuhr’s broad Christological use of love and Outka’s rather humanistic use of love reflect both theological differences and sociological differences Another pivotal point is that Niebuhr understands love to be the overcoming of the cleavage between essence and existence. In love what is and ought to be is overcome. It is a commandment but it is literally fulfilled. The commandment itself shows that the separation is not overcome in history.

The love imperative for Niebuhr is a religious symbol confronting egoism, promoting humility. We will not have the perfectly united self to be utterly directed to God with all our mind, heart and soul. Nor will we perfectly love our neighbour with the interest we serve ourselves. But still to do so would be the harmony of God. Yet with the full religious message of the gospel, people in Christian community can and do produce moral fruit utilizing agape in family and social strategies of mutuality and forgiveness. So Niebuhr’s understanding of love is both more religious and more communal than the relatively rationalistic, individualistic ethic25 of Outka. In his presentation of most theologians’ views in Agape: An Ethical Analysis Outka suppresses their theology except for Karl Barth. In doing so at least in this case of the Niebuhrs he misses their meaning. But the sociological clash is even more acute. Niebuhr would have little but scorn for the youthful Outka’s social optimism. Outka wrote:

The personal relations and perhaps also (or sometimes instead) the social order in which one finds oneself may be more amenable to a progressive realization of harmony and brotherhood than Kierkegaard and Niebuhr believe. While there is no strict guarantee that the appropriate response will be elicited, there should be no systematic refusal to hope, if not for perfection, then at least for continuous progress26

Or he recognizes that the conflict with Niebuhr is over different estimations of the human possibilities in history and then he writes:

Conflict may be increasingly channeled in non-violent directions for example, and in any case in not as much of a fixed datum as Niebuhr appears to believe.27

Both Reinhold Niebuhr and Walter Rauschenbusch understood love as its base to be a drive for union or unity. Niebuhr expressed this more transcendentally and Rauschenbusch more immanently. They were both in the tradition of the social gospel as Niebuhr affirmed in Interpretation of Christian Ethics. The more recent Outka does not emphasize this harmony and seems not to be in this same tradition of the social gospel.

In summarizing the results of his analysis Outka concludes that agape expressed "equal regard" for the other. The other is treated with an "active concern for the neighbour’s well being" without undue emphasis upon the particularity of the other.28 Each neighbour is equally in their relationship to God in their need for freedom, the meeting of basic human needs. This understanding of agape as regard carries to his understanding of justice which finds equalitarian ideas of justice overlapping with agape. He does not intend to collapse the distinction between love and equalitarian justice. The goals of meeting needs equally may require unequal distributions and different characteristics may be treated differently, but equal regard is required by justice. Outka’s conclusions in his careful analytic book are meagre, but they point in helpful ways toward further development of the relationship of the norm of justice.

The New Testament presents us with many uses of agape. It is from God for the world, the law of humanity toward God, and toward each other. Its context is the radically theistic context of the prophetic tradition culminating and transformed in Jesus Christ. Paul Ramsey was certainly correct when he explained that: "To be in the world with transforming power, the agape of Christ must be clearly understood as not of this world. Such as insist shows again the need for consideration of agape in terms of revelation, paradox, and theism. Ramsey is correct in relating this revealed norm to the nature of humanity and showing it to be expressed in a radical revisioning of natural law. The dangers of the expressions of natural law are in association of natural law with time bound statements of natural law and in the neglect of the degree to which natural law reflects its historical context. Also the conclusions of natural law theorists reveal the very relativity of the perceptions of natural law. So in this attempt to explicate Christian ethics love is related to a particular tradition of moral norms understood as both revelation and natural law in a particular communal context. The ten commandments are taken as the most important summary statement of both Hebrew morality and Christian morality and related to agape. Yet before the stipulated meaning of agape is finalized two voices from communities critical of the analysis so far need to be included: the feminist and the African-American.

Sally McFague’s metaphorical theology expresses the Christian gospel as radical love. Love becomes the essence of theology for her expressed in her metaphorical trinity. The parenthood of God is expressed in agape which seeks the fulfillment of life as a mother nurtures and cares for the next generation. Lovo no ero is expressed as the second of the trinity which seeks union with humanity in God’s body of the universe. And as philla seeks in express the companionship and friendship of the divine with the world. She tends to find the double love commandment as incapable of achievement, but affirming its direction she expresses it in terms she regards as more adequate for a nuclear and ecologically threatened age. Each of the expression of the trinity has its own characteristic ethic. That of the divine-universal parent is justice. Here the drive is for humans to model the loving presentation and fulfillment of life in concrete actions. The model of God’s love and by extension human love.

in their battle against the forces that bring disorder to the body, that enslave the spirit. . . God as mother-creator feels the same anger and judges those harshly who deny life and nourishment to her children.29

The work of God as friend is to be with humanity in the world, and the human ethic is to accompany the other and not in betray life in the enemy. The friendship with God requires the struggle for justice and the identification with the suffering by the friends of the Friend of the World.

She playfully suggests the enrichment of our models of the trinity. In her elevation of love to the center of her theology she is faithful to the New Testament and especially the Johannine emphases. The recognition that God’s love can be expressed persuasively as divine parent, lover, friend each with their own developed ethical meaning is a welcome joining of ethics with her theology. The theology of the trinity in her care is ethical in its essence, expressed it also has ethical consequences.

The political symbols of the older traditional theology Father, King. Monarch, Creator may have more of the Janus- faced character than she elaborates. In the words of Jesus these symbols express love not oppression or heteronomy. The preference for organic metaphors in much of her theology and the displacement of political-social metaphors like the Kingdom of God may not be as helpful to Christian thought as she thinks. Is it not the case that the issues of nuclear terror have been reduced by political choices and changes? Wise ecological choices too must be made politically before the organic death and responses themselves overwhelm politics. She is correct to recognize the need to include the material-organic in her theology, but she errs if this emphasis trivializes the political-social symbols.

She is correct that theology articulates models of God and that metaphor is a large part of the model building. She is wise in her middle way between fundamentalism about religious symbols and the cynical deconstruction of religious symbols. Christian realism in the spirit of Paul Tillich or Reinhold Niebuhr is closer to the reality pole than the deconstructionist pole. For here the symbols express hypotheses about human nature which are verifiable in human experience. For our time when one of the great human advances is the gender revolution, the need for her symbols of love, parent, love and friend, for God can be accepted with less tentativeness than characterized in her bold book.

Barbara Hilkert Andolsen’s research into feminist ethics is a strong reminder that partiarchialism has haunted the tradition. From the 19th century women have protested that they do not need counsel from male ethicists to sacrifice themselves. Margaret Farley represents the tradition in recognizing agape as full mutual love marked by gender equality.30 Andolsen affirms agape as a norm applicable to all realms of life. I think she erred in regarding Niebuhr as following "in the footsteps of Nygren condemning self-love and emphasizing sacrifice as the primary historical manifestation of agape".31 The textual evidence is clear that Niebuhr warns against egoism as corrupting mutuality. Christ as a religious symbol participates in sacrifice. Our old weak patriarchal dependent selves need to be given up, but the goal of his ethic in fulfilled people is as much as is possible under the limits of sin.

Beverly Harrison had preceded Sally McFague in using the term of radical love to discuss passionate, engaged, embodied love in relational terms, Also she had made the point that anger is part of love. Anger reveals the connected relationality of the bearer of the anger. She fears that Christians have nearly stamped Out love and become loving because of their refusal to express anger. Anger, for her, expresses caring and is "a sign of some resistance in ourselves to the moral quality of the social relations in which we are immersed."32 Anger becomes both the recognition that change is needed and part of the energy to achieve the change. The model of God as a mother angry at the mistreatment of her children is a powerful image and one worthy of our imaging as we enact our Christian ethics. Of course, one may mistakenly direct anger at the wrong source, the wise use of anger implies adequate analysis of the cause of anger. Anger itself may blind one to truth or energize a foolish cause. Anger like passion requires appropriately directed action.

The theory and practice of love in direct action for social change received new impetus in the 20th century. Out of anger for servitude, oppression and anti-colonialism Mahatma Gandhi was able to fashion organized force to impel the British to surrender India to its people. Combining the respect for life from his lain-influenced Hindu traditions with the image of love from the Sermon on the Mount he evolved a theory and practice of non-violent action. By articulating just needs for change, negotiation, purification, disciplined man’s suffering and further negotiations he organized the expression of love which moved the empire. From the success in India, world-wide decolonization became the world’s agenda. Massive non-violent civil disobedience carried forth from India would eventually win civil rights for African-Americans in the United States and be an important ingredient in the overthrow of Communism and apartheid in the closing years of the century.

Gandhi was impelled by agape as he learned it from Christian example and study. But British justice in which he trained as a law student in London failed in India and as an Indian or Hindu he utilized love and strategy to force justice to cede power and become more just. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an African-American minister grafted Gandhi’s methods onto the African-American church’s own non-violence and his Christian theological studies. In his life and thought non-violent direct action became agape in action. This certainly is correct. The church as a spiritual community ought not to adopt the tools of violence for social change even though the world always presupposes violence. The non-violent tactics are necessarily more loving than the violent and more intimate to the nature of Church. The Church cannot deny all violence in the world, particularly it cannot deny the violence of self or communal defense against violent attack. But it can and must teach that agape governs church tactics directly and non-church tactics indirectly. In its ecumenical discussions the Church having learned that God is love will have to insist that the religious utilization of violence for social or political change is a failure. If dialogue partners argue for violence for other than justifiable defense the Christian criteria of agape will incline Christians to argue that the other religious tradition be amended. Christianity has amended its tradition in light of agape and others can learn from that growth that agape governs methods as well as goals of religious life, and crusade or fanatic religious mentality is outdated and wrong.


This running commentary on selective 20th century interpretations of agape in Christian Ethics reveals certain convictions and trajectories. The interpretation is undertaken from a Christian realist perspective rooted in John Calvin’s sense that Christians and others need moral instruction. The love commandments require their theological roots, they ultimately matter. We also need their practical illustration. The parable of the Good Samaritan follows upon the lawyer’s recounting of the double love commandment. The lawyer needed to know who his neighbour was. It was the other encounter in need. The response was to care for and provide what the other needed. So agape is ultimate, universal and particular with broad consequences.

To reduce these broad theories of love to a single (even if complex) insight is hazardous. Still for summary a single emphasis may be isolated:

Walter Rauschenbusch: Agape is the power which united human society.

Ernst Troeltsch: Agape as personal-social theism produces charity and social harmony.

Reinhold Niebuhr: Agape is a transcendent requirement that is relevant to all immanent situations.

Anders Nygren: God’s grace is best recognized when our inadequate human love is not equated with God’s agape.

Gene Outka: Equal regard for the other and justice as equality are expressions of agape.

Paul Ramsey: Agape is expressed through other norms and non-definitively Christian moral insights.

Sally McFague: The meaning of agape is determinative for theology and shapes the meaning of eros and philia and the three together are metaphors for the trinity.

Beverly Harrison: Agape as radical love contains mutuality, anger and friendship more completely than heretofore emphasized.

Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.: Agape is expressed in different religious traditions and societies as a means of social change as well as a religious reality.

Our understanding of love is as Jesus recognized a summary of our total ethic. It is also that on which all our prophetic religion and moral guidelines depend. It governs religion and ethics, if a teaching cannot be reconciled with love it is not Christian ethics. We recognize its source in the nature of God and God’s will for humanity. Beyond these general guidelines which determine the shape of Christian ethics, it is the meaning of the particular need of our encountered neighbour as if it were our own needs.

J. Russell Chandran related his reflections on the basis for a Christian social vision to the unifying "bond of love" which carried the same meanings as Rauschenbusch half a world and eighty years removed. Analyzing the vision in relationship to both India and the world ecumenical movement he wrote:

The goal of the Christian social vision is, therefore, a society in which all people [are] . . . committed to work together for the common well-being of all and for the removal of all forms of injustice and divisiveness, united by the bond of love for the realization of the one new humanity.33

In commitment to Dalit liberation S. Arokiasamy, S.J. put it pointedly:

As followers of Jesus, we are called to build a community that embodies the new relationships of God’s Kingdom based on freedom, justice, dignity of every human person, love and fellowship. The love commandment assumes these dimensions. It be-came the dharma of the Kingdom, the dharma of Jesus. We are called to commit ourselves to Jesus’ praxis. The agenda of Dalit liberation belongs within Jesus’ praxis.34

The meaning of love is that it unites God and humanity and neighbour to neighbour. In so doing it liberates people and changes structures toward the justice it seeks.



1. Walter Rauschenbusch, Dare We Be Christians? (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1993) Originally published 1914.

2. Ibid., p. 14.

3. ibid., p. 30.

4. Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1964) Originally published 1907.

5. Walter Rauschenbusch, A Theology for the Social Gospel. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1917).

6. Christianity and the Social Crisis, p. 67.

7. Ernst Troeltsch. The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches (New York: The Macmillan Company. 1931).

8. Ibid, pp. 1004-1006

9. Ibid., p. 54.

10. H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture, (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1951).

11. Reinhold Niebuhr, Does Civilization Need Religion? (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1929).

12. Reinhold Niebuhr, Man’s Nature and His Communities (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1965).

13. Reinhold Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1941).

14. Andres Nygren, Agape: An Ethical Analysis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), p. 8.

15. Ibid. p. 219.

16. Gene Outka. Agape: An Ethical Analysis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), p. 8.

17. Ibid., p. 9.

18. Ibid.. p. 8.

19. H Richard Niebuhr, The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1956). p. 34-36.

20. Outka, p. 8.

21. D.B. Robertson, ed., Reinhold Niebuhr, Love and Justice (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1957).

22. Ibid., p. 220.

23. Ibid., p. 50.

24. Ibid., p. 28.

25. Stephen J. Pope finds Outka still working for a individualistic bias in his more recent essay on the love commandment. "Love in Contemporary Ethics," Journal of Religious Ethics (Spring, 1995), 23.1, pp. 157-197.

26. Outka (references)

27. Ibid., p. 43.

28. Ibid., p. 260.

29. Sally McFague, Models of God: Theology for an Ecological Nuclear Age (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), p.149.

30. Barbara Hikert Andolsen "Agape in Feminist Ethics, ‘The Journal of Religious Ethics (Spring, 1981) 9/1, pp. 69-83.

31. Ibid., p. 70.

32. Beverly Wilding Harrison "The Power of Anger in the Work of Love" Union Seminary Quarterly Review, XXXVI (Supplementary, 1981) p. 49.

33. J. Russell Chandran, "Biblical and Theological Basis for a Christian Social Vision" Religion and Society (June-Sept), No.2 and 3, p.67.

34. S. Arokiaswamy "Faith that does justice" Religion and Society, (December, 1990), XXXVII, No. 4, p.67.