Theo-Phenomenology of Love in Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae’s Thought
In reading Father Dumitru Stăniloae, it is obvious that love and divine-human communion have a prominent role in his theology. This text aims to approach this topic from a phenomenological point of view: it analyzes the implicit reductions working in Stăniloae’s texts, the presence of the intentionality, the role of the ego and its limits, as well as the problem of the reciprocity of love (raised by Jean-Luc Marion). We will try to argue not only that there are phenomenological influences in Stăniloae’s understanding of love, but also that such a topic requires a phenomenology that synthesizes the phenomenology of the world (Husserl and Heidegger) and the phenomenology of life (M. Henry). Because love, in its perfection, is a gift of the Holy Spirit, both types of phenomenology must be complemented with a dialogical and paradoxical one, a theo-phenomenology of love, where the Given can be invisible, living, eternally saturated, and never reducible to an object or to a concept.
Keywords: Dumitru Stăniloae, Jean-Luc Marion, love, erotic reduction, theological counter-reduction, reciprocity of love, spiritual life, phenomenology