Charity


Charity
/char"i tee/, n.
a female given name.

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▪ Christian concept
      in Christian thought, the highest form of love, signifying the reciprocal love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one's fellow men. St. Paul's classical description of charity is found in the New Testament (I Cor. 13). In Christian theology and ethics, charity (a translation of the Greek word agapē, also meaning “love”) is most eloquently shown in the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ. St. Augustine (Augustine, Saint) summarized much of Christian thought about charity when he wrote: “Charity is a virtue which, when our affections are perfectly ordered, unites us to God, for by it we love him.” Using this definition and others from the Christian tradition, the medieval theologians, especially St. Thomas Aquinas, placed charity in the context of the other Christian virtues and specified its role as “the foundation or root” of them all.

      Although the controversies of the Reformation dealt more with the definition of faith than with either hope or charity, the Reformers identified the uniqueness of God's agāpe for man as unmerited love; therefore, they required that charity, as man's love for man, be based not upon the desirability of its object but upon the transformation of its subject through the power of divine agāpe.

      Modern philosophical discussions of charity have compared it to other terms and concepts of love, notably to erōs, which is understood as desire or yearning.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charity — Char i*ty, n.; pl. {Charities}. [F. charit[ e] fr. L. caritas dearness, high regard, love, from carus dear, costly, loved; asin to Skr. kam to wish, love, cf. Ir. cara a friend, W. caru to love. Cf. {Caress}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Love; universal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • charity — char‧i‧ty [ˈtʆærti] noun charities PLURALFORM 1. [countable] an organization that collects money to help people, for example those who are sick or poor, or to help certain types of activity such as artistic activity ; =NOT FOR PROFIT… …   Financial and business terms

  • charity — char·i·ty n pl ties: a gift for humanitarian, philanthropic, or other purposes beneficial to the public (as maintaining a public building); also: an institution (as a hospital or school) or organization founded by such a gift compare private… …   Law dictionary

  • charity — 1 *mercy, clemency, grace, lenity Analogous words: love, affection, *attachment: benevolence, humaneness, altruism (see corresponding adjectives at CHARITABLE): benignity, benignancy, kindness, kindliness (see corresponding adjectives at KIND):… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Charity — Charity …   Wikipedia Español

  • Charity — f English: from the vocabulary word, denoting originally the Christian s love for his fellow man (Latin caritās, from carus dear). In spite of St Paul s words ‘and now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is… …   First names dictionary

  • charity — (n.) mid 12c., benevolence for the poor, from O.Fr. charité (O.N.Fr. carité), from L. caritatem (nom. caritas) costliness, esteem, affection (in Vulgate often used as translation of Gk. agape love especially Christian love of fellow man perhaps… …   Etymology dictionary

  • charity — ► NOUN (pl. charities) 1) an organization set up to help those in need. 2) the voluntary giving of money or other help to those in need. 3) help or money given in this way. 4) tolerance in judging others. ● charity begins at home Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • charity — [n1] generosity, gift alms, alms giving, assistance, benefaction, beneficence, contribution, dole, donation, endowment, fund, gifting, hand*, hand out, helping hand*, largesse, oblation, offering, philanthropy, relief, write off; concepts 337,657 …   New thesaurus

  • Charity — [char′i tē] n. [see CHARITY] a feminine name …   English World dictionary

  • charity — /ˈtʃariti, ingl. ˈtʃærɪtɪ/ [vc. ingl., propr. «carità, beneficenza»] s. f. inv. 1. evento benefico 2. ente benefico, fondazione, onlus …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione


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