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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Moreover , international situations , such as war , nuclear proliferation , the rise in
human rights activism , and environmental protection movements encouraged
peace movements and overseas voluntary activities by Buddhist organizations .
Voluntary activities by Japanese Buddhists ( of the Mahāyāna tradition ) in
countries of the Theravāda tradition such as Thailand , Cambodia or Sri Lanka
have led to cooperation for social action between Buddhists of these two different
Some of its major international voluntary activities are building shelters for
Indochinese refugees in Japan , sponsoring the ' campaign for sharing blankets
with people in Africa ' ( which entails sending blankets to drought - stricken
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