Though voluntary association for the public good is often thought of as a peculiarly Western, even Christian conception, this book demonstrates that there are rich traditions of philanthropy in cultures throughout the world. Rather than search for expressions of Western conceptions of philanthropy, experts in area studies set forth to investigate how particular cultures understand philanthropy and its role in society, how people in these cultures attempt to realize "the good" through giving and serving. These essays study philanthropy in Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, and Native American religious traditions and in cultures from Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, South Asia, China, and Japan. Each essay describes a distinctive form of philanthropy in a given culture and historical period, its genesis, its functioning, and its relative importance within the culture and the culture's predominant religious traditions.
eBook Philanthropy in the World's Traditions