Teaching Agape to Law Students

By L.O. Natt Gantt, II

Scripture speaks boldly about the call of Christians to love. This Christian love is best captured in the principle of agape, the Greek word used by the gospel writers for “love” in Christ’s greatest commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This biblical call to agape is clear, and in fulfilling our responsibility to agapic love, Christian legal educators should be concerned about the “moral and spiritual good” of their students and should see part of their job as helping their students “grow in virtue.” This instruction first is not simply communicating to students the content of what true agapic love means. Such an understanding is important, particularly how agape contrasts with other forms of love both in New Testament times and how we often view love today. What is more important, however, particularly as we properly construe legal education as a formative process, is that students are transformed such that they more robustly appropriate agape in their lives as law students and ultimately lawyers.

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