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Published on Oct 19, 2012
Exploring an essential human virtue. Whether it's the gift of time, money, or a helping hand, everyone has the capacity to transform someone else's life. But, in a world where millions struggle to put food on the table, millions more struggle either to keep their jobs or to find jobs that pay a living wage, and millions still struggle with either preventable or treatable diseases, why do some people give so much and others so little? The University of Notre Dame's Science of Generosity initiative is leading an international effort to uncover the causes, manifestations, and consequences of generosity.
Established in 2009 by a $5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the initiative takes a scientific approach to the study of generosity in all of its forms. Led by Christian Smith, Ph.D., professor of sociology and director of the University's Center for the Study of Religion and Society, the initiative brings together a community of scholars from around the world—and from across various academic disciplines—to learn more about a subject of fundamental importance and, in the process, to fight for world-transforming change.