“Agape restaurants” sound to me like a stupendously horrible idea of the kind that could only be dreamed up by creepy, authoritarian hippys. Also there is a lot of confusion about what ‘agape’ (pronounced in this context ah-ga-pay) really means. The most easily found definition on the web is “the love of God for man and of man for God.”
Well C.S. Lewis, to whom that definition is credited was a far more diligent student of classics than I ever was, but he was a sanctimonius Christian too, so perhaps his translation was influenced by his own belief.
The word is Greek, as I think most people will have guessed, and the Greeks had a very different concept of the divine than Jewish of Christian faiths. “We are to the gods as flies to wanton boys, they kill us for their sport,” sums up the relationship between Greek gods and their worshippers, again common knowledge among people familiar with Greek myth.
A better definition in modern society would be love of one’s fellow man or love of those we share our environment with. But in order to love you in that way I don’t necessarily need to have dinner with you. We can love our fellow man without trying to be everybody’s BFF.
Thus dinner with friends spent not gathered around the same table, “ but instead, spend it intimately with a coterie of strangers, seated around a cozy table talking for prescribed lengths of time about predetermined topics,”
I’ve had dinner with relative strangers many times, it is common in business, but the idea of talking for a fixed time on a set topic sounds horrific. I would not spend money on a dining experience in which some Mansonesque creep had decided for the company what we should talk about. Tribalism beat fascism any day.