Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agápē) is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, "the highest form of love, charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". The word is not to be confused with philia, brotherly love, as it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance. The noun form first occurs in the Septuagint, but the verb form goes as far back as Homer, translated literally as affection, as in "greet with affection" and "show affection for the dead". Other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to eros (an affection of a sexual nature). Within Christianity, agape is considered to be the love originating from God or Christ for mankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one's fellow man. Some contemporary writers have sought to extend the use of agape into non-religious contexts. The concept of agape has been widely examined within its Christian context. It has also been considered in the contexts of other religions, religious ethics, and science.
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