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Ethics as Theology: Volume II
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Ethics as Theology: Volume II

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“The classical writers had an idealized conception of friendship: just two people (always men) from youth to age totally loyal to one another, both totally virtuous, somehow standing out. . . . For Aelred, it’s so different. You have to have lots of friends and they will be at all sorts of different levels of development in your friendship. You’ll have the friends you can wholly rely on and you will have the friends you can rely on a bit. And this sort of adapting of the ideal of friendship to the realities of the life of sanctification and grace in which, ah, ‘we’re not all sanctified yet,’ is very important.”
— Oliver O’Donovan

In this extended Conversation with theologian and ethicist, Oliver O’Donovan, O’Donovan talks about how “love” as an ethical and existential category connects to the theological virtue of love consummated in the Kingdom of Heaven. O’Donovan’s final volume in the Ethics as Theology series, Entering into Rest, deals primarily with how love is transformed and “made fit for the presence of God.” But correspondingly, O’Donovan’s work also inquires into how the love operating now in the eschatological Church affects how we order our lives tomorrow in the world. Drawing from St. Augustine and figures such as Aelred of Rievaulx, O’Donovan describes how the Church, communication, community, and friendship all significantly contribute to how we understand the role of love in both ethical and political reflection.

Portions of this interview were originally published on Volume 138 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. 52 minutes.