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Synopsis

Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective provides such a scholarly overview, examining the intersection of culture and such topics as evolutionary accounts of altruism and the importance of altruism in ritual and religion. ​​The past decade has seen a proliferation of research on altruism, made possible in part by significant funding from organizations such as the John Templeton Foundation. While significant research has been conducted on biological, social, and individual dimensions of altruism, there has been no attempt to provide an overview of the ways that altruistic behavior and attitudes vary across cultures. The book addresses the methodological challenges of researching altruism across cultures, as well as the ways that altruism is manifest in difficult circumstances. A particular strength of the book is its attention to multiple disciplinary approaches to understanding altruism, with contributors from fields including psychology, anthropology, sociology, biology, communication, philosophy, religious studies, gender studies, and bioethics.​

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