As a modern textual critic in the rigorous Jesuit tradition, Goicoechea is going to affirm difference: For instance, the terrified and panicking pseudonymous Jesus on the cross in Mark is not the calm expectant pseudonymous Jesus on the cross in Luke. However, in the postmodern philosophical tradition of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Levinas, Derrida, Deleuze and Foucault, he is going to begin to reconcile the differences with the category of selfless loves as agape, in distinction with love as eros, philia, or storge:
Storge – empathy bond.
Philia – friend bond.
Eros – romantic love.
Agape – selfless love.
- Two thousand years ago Jesus introduced his new teaching and practice of agape which commands us to love one another as he loved us in self denial and sacrifice. Each new age has emphasized a special aspect of loving God with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and of loving our neighbor as our self. In our postmodern age at this millennial turn the new emphasis is upon agape as reconciliation. Jesus gives us the command:
- If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your gift there before the altar and go and be reconciled with your brother and then come and offer your gift. (Matt 5:23–24)
Sinning against a person isn’t rectified by sacrifice such as that of the Yom Kippur pure goat / scapegoat, or the sacrifice of Jesus, but the sin is forgiven when two people work to reconcile with one another.
A key to understanding Goicoechea’s reconciling version of Paul is Paul’s key claim that “28 There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
Next time, I will continue on with Goicoechea’s analysis of Paul’s 7 authentic letters, last time I began with Thessalonians.
Goicoechea, David. Agape and Personhood: with Kierkegaard, Mother, and Paul (A Logic of Reconciliation from the Shamans to Today) (Postmodern Ethics Book 2) . Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.