Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Charity

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_106-7

How has charity been seen in religious tradition? How has it been understood by psychologists? What are the relations between religious affiliation and charitable activity, and how well do we understand the psychological processes involved?

Religion and Charity

The practice of charity is demanded in all religions (Argyle 2000): all major religions have clear requirements – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and others. Charity is generally seen in two ways in religious tradition. First, donating a fixed proportion of one’s income and agricultural produce to appropriate beneficiaries is a religious duty. Religious traditions also endorse providing assistance – financial, food, and whatever else is required – to the needy. These two practices overlap, but there are distinct religious duties: taking and donating a fixed proportion of property, even if there is no desperately needy recipient and assisting the needy – even if one has already given away ones tithes, one is...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

Bibliography

  1. Argyle, M. (2000). Psychology and religion. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Brooks, A. C. (2003). Religious faith and charitable giving. Policy Review, 121, 39–50.Google Scholar
  3. Carlsmith, J., & Gross, A. (1968). Some effects of guilt on compliance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 11, 232–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Inaba, K., & Loewenthal, K. M. (2009). Religion and altruism. In P. Clarke & P. Beyer (Eds.), Oxford handbook of the sociology of religion (pp. 876–889). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Loewenthal, K. M. (2007). Religion, culture and mental health. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Lynn, P., & Smith, H. (1991). Voluntary action research. London: The Volunteer Centre.Google Scholar
  7. Macaulay, J. R., & Berkowitz, L. (Eds.). (1970). Altruism and helping behavior: Social psychological studies of some antecedents and consequences. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  8. Maple, P. (2012). The real motivation for giving to charity. The Guardian, 1 May 2012. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/may/01/claire-squires-charitable-giving-motivation
  9. Montada, L., & Bierhoff, H. W. (1991). Studying prosocial behavior in social systems. In Altruism in social systems (pp. 1–26). New York: Hogrefe & Huber.Google Scholar
  10. Myers, D. G. (1992). The pursuit of happiness. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  11. Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 603–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Perkins, H. W. (1992). Student religiosity and social justice concerns in England and the United States: Are they still related? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 31, 353–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Porter, R. (1993). Religion and medicine. In W. F. Bynum & R. Porter (Eds.), Companion encyclopedia of the history of medicine (pp. 1449–1459). New York: Routledge/Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Regnerus, M., Smith, C., & Sikkink, D. (1998). Who gives to the poor? The influence of religious tradition and political location on the personal generosity of Americans toward the poor. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 481–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Seligman, M. (2002). Authentic happiness. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  16. Shneur Zalman of Liadi. (1796/1973). Likutei AmarimTanya (Bilingual edition) (trans: Mindel, N., Mandel, N., Posner, Z., & Shochet, J. I.). London: Kehot.Google Scholar
  17. Thoits, P. A., & Hewitt, L. N. (2001). Volunteer work and well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42, 115–131.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK