WORKS OF LOVE
Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Altruism
An International, Interfaith, and Interdisciplinary Conference
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
May 31 through June 5, 2003
Unselfish love for all humanity is the most important point of convergence shared by the world’s great spiritual traditions. We marvel at the ways and power of love and find in it the best hope for a far better human future. People from all walks of life, often those disadvantaged themselves, excel in loving kindness, not just for their nearest and dearest, but also as volunteers and advocates on behalf of the stranger. How do our complex brains, unique imaginations, communicative abilities, reasoning powers, moral sense, and spiritual and religious promptings give rise to this remarkable yet not at all uncommon practice of unselfish love for our neighbors, or for those we do not even know? If we could answer this question and harness the extraordinary power of love, the world might well erupt into hope.
Peter L. Benson, President, Search Institute
Jack Berry, The Marriage Assessment, Treatment and Enrichment Center, Virginia Commonwealth University
Arthur Caplan, Center fort Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
John DiIulio, Center for Research on Religion & Urban Civil Society, University of Pennsylvania
Greg Fricchione, Director, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Dan Gottlieb, Host of “Voices in the Family”, 91FM WHYY public radio
Fr. Lyndon Harris, St. Paul’s Chapel at “Ground Zero” and General Theological Seminary
Vincent Jeffries, Sociology, California State University Northridge
Byron Johnson, Center for Research on Religion & Urban Civil Society University of Pennsylvania
Ursula King, Theology, University of Bristol
Harold Koenig, Center for Religion Spirituality and Health, Duke University Medical Center
Thomas Lewis, Religion, Ethics and Politics, University of Iowa
Michael McCullough, Psychology, University of Miami
Stephen G.Post, Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, Case Western Reserve University
Allen M.Omoto, Behavioral Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University
Orien Reid, WCAU-TV News Reporter and past president and Chair of the National Alzheimer’s Association
Eugene Rivers, National TenPoint Leadership Foundation
Holmes Rolston, Philosophy, Colorado State University
Jeffrey Schloss, Biology, Westmont College
Bouthaina Shaaban, English Literature, Damascus University, Media - Foreign Ministry, president of Arab Writers Union
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, The Institute for Jewish Studies in the C.I.S.
Jim Towey,Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, White House
Lynn Underwood, Fetzer Institute
David Sloan Wilson, Biology, State University of New York, Harpur College
CALL FOR PAPERS
Deadline: March 15, 2003
We are seeking papers that address the conference themes listed below. Interested and qualified scholars from a variety of academic disciplines are invited to submit proposals by March 15, 2003. Those whose papers are accepted will receive conference registration, room and board. Paper presentations including Q & A will be allotted 30 minutes each.
Please go to the conference Web site for more complete descriptions of conference themes and details for the submission of proposals.
Faith Active in Love: Lives of Compassionate Love
Scientific and theological interpretations of remarkable lives exemplifying love for all humanity
Unlimited Love and Human Nature: The Problem of Inter-Group Conflict
To what extent is the substrate of human nature receptive to the ideal of love for all humanity? Drawing on evolutionary biology, how does human nature resist this ideal?
The Healing Power of Love: Healthful Compassion
To what extent does the giving of compassionate love and generous service impact the agent with regard to morbidity and mortality? How does this impact the recipient health and therapeutic efficacy?
The Biology of Compassionate Love: Evolutionary, Physiological, and Neurological Correlates
How can compassionate love be understood in the light of neurology, endocrinology, genetics, and immunology?
The Psychology of Compassionate Love
What psychology models help to explain the experience of compassionate love and help to explain its key features?
The Sociological Study of Faith-Based Communities and their Activities in Relation to the Spiritual Ideal of Unlimited Love
Are volunteerism, social capital, and civility enhanced by faith in divine love? Are faith-based organizations more effective than secular ones in enhancing and sustaining “works of love”?
The Emergence and Impact of Helping Behavior in Young People
How does generosity and service emerge in the lives of young people? How does such experience shape the long-term aspects of their lives?
The Science and Spirituality of Family Care-giving
There are hundreds of millions of family caregivers across the globe, tending to loved ones with cognitive, physical, and other disabilities. How do spirituality and the ideal of love help to sustain such caregivers, and those they care for?
Compassionate Love, the Analogical Imagination, and the Science of Creative Genius
Creative geniuses have often attempted to express the ineffable reality of Unlimited Love in music, art, poetry, and prose (including theology). How can we better understand this human desire to express the ideal of pure love?
Spiritual Transformation: Love and the Fruits of the Spirit
What is the relationship between positive spiritual transformation and Unlimited Love? How is the perception of such love captured in the experience of spiritual transformation?
Science, Religion, and the Metaphysics of Love
People of all great religious tradition view Unlimited Love as a core aspect of the divine. Is there a scientific basis for this perennial assumption? Can it be clarified in the light of the sciences?
CALL FOR INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP SPONSORS
We are seeking individuals and organizations to sponsor this exciting conference at a contribution level of $1,000 or more. Sponsors will be listed in conference publicity and are entitled to one daytime registration, and meals. Organizational sponsors will also receive display space in the exhibit and literature area. If you need additional information on how to help in sponsoring this event, please contact Dr. William Grassie, Ph.D., Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Works of Love Conference is hosted by:
Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (IRUL): www.unlimitedloveinstitute.org
Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science: www.metanexus.net
in collaboration with
Columbia Center for the Study of Science and Religion: www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr
Center for Research on Religion & Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania: www.crrucs.org
Fetzer Institute: www.fetzer.org
John Templeton Foundation: www.templeton.org
American Teilhard Association: www.orgs.bucknell.edu/teilhard
Templeton Foundation Press: www.templetonpress.org
3624 Market Street, Suite 301
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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