For this splendid collection, Fehr (psychology, Univ. of Winnipeg), Sprecher (sociology, Illinois State University), and Underwood (biomedical humanities, Hiram College) assembled 15 original essays on "the science of compassionate love," i.e., "the kind of love that is a central feature in many religious traditions: a self-giving, caring love that values the other highly and has the intention of giving full life to the other." The contributors work in a variety of disciplines--social psychology, communication, health science. Together they present a state-of-the-art perspective, oriented toward future scientific investigations of compassionate love but in touch with its roots in developments such as humanistic psychology. This volume will have special appeal for psychologists but also, one can only hope, for humanists invested in the recent turn toward positive psychology. Mental health practitioners will also benefit from the clear delineation of the subject, finding links, for example, between compassionate love and the art of compassion central to mindfulness-based psychotherapies grounded in the Buddhist psychological tradition. Summing Up
: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. -- M. Uebel, University of Texas
, March 2009)
"By bringing cutting-edge science to bear on the ways in which compassionate love is manifest in human activity, these scientists provide an encouraging and sensible antidote to the cynical view of human nature that is so common today. Readers will find this volume a rich source of ideas for research and applications."
–Harry T. Reis
, University of Rochester
"What the world needs now is not just love but compassionate love defined as 'giving of self for the good of the other' whether someone close, unknown others or humanity in general. This volume brings together distinguished researchers from a number of social science disciplines to focus on this important aspect of love. The book clearly fulfills its goal of providing a 'state of the art' treatment of this important topic. Hopefully it will also encourage future research that will increase our understanding of how to develop compassionate love in our troubled world."
–Patricia Noller, University of Queensland