This collection of essays by a team of international scholars addresses the topic of Charity through the lenses of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The contributors look for common paradigms in the ways the three faiths address the needs of the poor and the needy in their respective societies, and reflect on the interrelatedness of such practices among the three religions. They ask how the three traditions deal with the distribution of wealth, in the recognition that not all members of a given society have equal access to it, and in the relationship of charity to the inheritance systems and family structures. They reveal systemic patterns that are similarnorms, virtue, theological validations, exclusionary rules, private responsibility to societyissues that have implications for intercultural and interfaith understanding. Conversely, the essays inquire how the three faiths differ in their understanding of poverty, wealth, and justifications for charity.
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About the Author
Julia R. Lieberman is professor of Spanish and intercultural studies at Saint Louis University.
Michal Jan Rozbicki is professor of history and director of the Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis University.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Julia R. Lieberman and Michal Jan Rozbicki
Part I: Charity: Some Theoretical Issues
Chapter 1: Is Charity a Two-Faceted Janus? “Othering” Gifts vs. Translating Giving and the Intercultural Uses of Human Rights, Mario Ricca
Chapter 2: Whose Caritas? Which Receptivity? Roman Catholics in Dialogue across Traditions, Gregory R. Beabout
Chapter 3: Interreligious and Intercultural Transfers of the Tradition of Philanthropy, Thomas Adam
Chapter 4: Sadaqa as a Sign of Sincerity: Secular and Spiritual Aspects of Charity in Islam, Fatih Harpci
Chapter 5: From Welfare to Rights in the Jewish Tradition, Melinda Jones
Part II: The Practice of Charity in Judaism, Christianity. and Islam
Chapter 6: New Practices of Sedaca: Charity in London’s Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Community during the Eighteenth Century, Julia R. Lieberman
Chapter 7: From Charity to Philanthropy among the Jewish Elite: Emancipation, Modernization, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, Haim Sperber and Riki Galia
Chapter 8: Catholic Reform, the Council of Trent, and the Transformation of Italian Charity, 1500–1800, Philip R. Gavitt
Chapter 9: The Perfect Storm: Social Services and Abuse in North American Catholic Maternity Homes, Elizabeth Patricia Rigotti
Chapter 10: The Heart of a Heartless World: Relations of Power in Faith-based Responses to the Iraqi and Syrian Refugee Crises, Tahir Zaman
Chapter 11: The Practice of Zakāt in Northern Nigeria and the Building of Social Relationships, Dauda Abubakar
Chapter 12: Jewish and Muslim Charity in the Ottoman Empire: The Fluidity of Religious Boundaries, Yaron Ayalon