Original Research

Divine love in the letter to the Romans

Pieter G.R. de Villiers
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 2 | a2118 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i2.2118 | © 2016 Pieter G.R. de Villiers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 March 2016 | Published: 25 November 2016

About the author(s)

Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa


This article investigates divine love in the letter to the Romans from the perspective of love as a key motif in spirituality and in light of spiritual hermeneutics. After a short introduction about the significance of love as a spiritual motif, the article motivates why the notion of divine love is important for understanding the letter to Romans. It challenges existing interpretations of love in contemporary research on Romans that associates it mostly with the relationship between people, neglecting the significant passages in Romans in which love is first and foremost associated with the character and actions of God. In the rest of the article four essential characteristics of divine love is investigated, with attention to its originary, intimate, powerful and self-giving nature.1


Love; Paul; Letter to Romans; Spirituality


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