Derived from the Latin charitas (“love”), charity refers to the voluntary and altruistic care for others in the form of almsgiving or other outwardly directed beneficial activities. Such behavior has been a major pillar of the major world faiths. Within the sociology of religion, charity it is an often neglected category, usually examined in wider sociological discussions of social and religious organization, altruism, philanthropy, and more recently, social capital. In recent years, charity has become an area of interest in law reform, particularly with relation to the historical privileges accorded to religions within the charity sphere.

World Religions

Although historically associated with Christianity, within various major world religions, charity has been to some extent either encouraged or prescribed, though often in a more obligatory sense than ...

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