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In the New Testament, the fatherly love of God for humans and their reciprocal love for God. The term extends to the love of one's fellow humans. The Church Fathers used the Greek term to designate both a rite using bread and wine and a meal of fellowship that included the poor. The historical relationship between this meal, the Lord's Supper, and the Eucharist, the meal of fellowship and the sacrament, is uncertain.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on agape, visit Britannica.com.