Subject Human Sciences

The Paradox of Generosity

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Those who give, receive. It’s an insight found in many spiritual traditions, and one now confirmed by research. In their new book, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose, Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson, sociologists at the University of Notre Dame, show how those who give of their time, concern, and money tend to be happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life. Their work is part of the Science of Generosity Initiative at Notre Dame, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Older and Younger Generations Celebrated in 2014 Purpose Prize

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Six individuals have won a 2014 Purpose Prize, alongside 38 other individuals who have become Purpose Prize Fellows. The program was established by Encore.org to recognize social innovators over 60 and is funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation. This year’s winners were honored on October 28 at an awards ceremony at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona.

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Sincerity Can Improve Our Health

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Telling the truth is good for your health, and conversely, lying can undermine it, studies in the science of honesty suggest. The work has been conducted by Anita Kelly and Lijuan Wang, professors at the University of Notre Dame, and is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Gratitude Summit Explores the Queen of the Virtues

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Artwork by Terri Friedman and her students at the California College for the Arts. Photo courtesy of GGSC.
Artwork by Terri Friedman and her students at the California College for the Arts. Photo courtesy of GGSC.

Studies have repeatedly confirmed that gratitude lies at the heart of joy. The scientific exploration of wellbeing, called positive psychology, continues to illuminate the ways in which the capacity to give thanks plays this critical role. It is the “queen of the virtues,” says Robert Emmons, one of the leading researchers in the field and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. And yet, Emmons has also observed that studying gratitude is often met by a marked resistance.

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New Studies Reveal Benefits of Spiritual Care

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Rev. Eric J. Hall, president & CEO, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network welcomes conference attendees. Courtesy of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.
Rev. Eric J. Hall, president & CEO, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network welcomes conference attendees. Courtesy of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.

Until now, no empirical data has existed on the contributions of chaplains in health care. But six studies released at the inaugural conference of the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) have revealed important advances in understanding the role of spiritual care in treating people facing serious illness, including cancer and patients at the end of their lives.

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Giving Thanks is Good for You!

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Choosing to feel grateful can make a positive difference in your life, according to a growing body of research. This is a particularly significant finding because people often view saying thanks as a passive, passing gesture, rather than an active stance and engagement with life.

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