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Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam
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Book description

Using an innovative methodological approach combining field experiments, case studies, and statistical analyzes, this book explores how the religious beliefs and institutions of Catholics and Muslims prompt them to be generous with their time and resources. Drawing upon research involving more than 1,000 Catholics and Muslims in France, Ireland, Italy, and Turkey, the authors examine Catholicism and Islam in majority and minority contexts, discerning the specific factors that lead adherents to help others and contribute to social welfare projects. Based on theories from political science, economics, religious studies and social psychology, this approach uncovers the causal connections between religious community dynamics, religious beliefs and institutions, and socio-political contexts in promoting or hindering the generosity of Muslims and Catholics. The study also provides insight into what different religious beliefs mean to Muslims and Catholics, and how they understand those concepts.


‘The authors provide a carefully-crafted study of Muslims and Catholics and what determines their decisions to support charitable organizations. They employ cutting edge methodology that should be of interest to everyone studying the topic of religion. Their finding that both theology and institutions shape generosity moves us beyond simple dichotomies of religious behavior and reveals the complex nature of religiously-motivated action.'

Anthony Gill - author of The Political Origins of Religious Liberty

‘How do religious beliefs and institutions come together to encourage prosocial behaviors, like charitable giving? Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam synthesizes a wide range of scholarly work to provide a compelling and coherent answer to the question of how religion encourages adherents help others, particularly those who are poorly positioned to reciprocate in the future.'

Lisa Blaydes - Director, Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Stanford University, California

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