The Practice of Altruism: Caring and Religion in Global Perspective
Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006 - 209 pages
The study of altruism and altruistic behavior has caught the attention of social scientists especially in recent years. What motivates individuals to cultivate attitudes and actions that promote the wellbeing of others at the expense of, or at the risk of negative consequences for their own?
In our contemporary global society marked by conflict and violence among different sectors of the population in various regions of the world, and wherein religion can be a factor that exacerbates such conflict and violence, harnessing the power of religion towards directions of reconciliation, creativity, and altruistic action, remains a crucial task for humankind.
This volume addresses a question especially relevant in our day: do people who profess religious commitment or affiliation in a particular religious community tend to nurture altruistic kinds of attitude and action more than others? Social scientists present results of their empirical studies on Japanese society, as well as on North American, European, Indian, and Thai societies, to focus on this issue and offer insightful reflections on the relationship between religion and society.
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Reciprocal Returns in Dān and Philanthropy This article is concerned with
donation ( dān ) in ... Dān is a particular form of donation that requires the
absence of a social relationship and does not necessitate a return , at least in this
Dān , the Hindu concept of the ' pure ' or ' free ' gift or charity exists in practices of
mendicancy in which no social obligations occur between the givers and
recipients . As Laidlaw points out , the fact that the free gift does not create
If we can talk about accountability with dān it is in terms of spiritual accountability
. In many ways dān is like philanthropy — and philanthropy in its ideal sense is
perhaps modelled on dān . Dān is a disinterested gift , a gift without expectation
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