Charity - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 10 pages of information about Charity.
This section contains 2,971 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Charity

CHARITY. The word charity derives from the Latin caritas and can be traced to the Greek charis. In the Western religious tradition, charity has become synonymous with the Greek terms agape, philanthopia, eleemosune (or eleos), and even philia and eros; with the Hebrew words zedakah, gemilut hesed, and aheb; and with the Latin amor, amicitia, beneficia, and caritas (or carus). Thus, as a theoretical conception, charity has meant both possessive and selfless love, as well as favor, grace, mercy, kindness, righteousness, and liberality. In its practical application charity denotes the distribution of goods to the poor and the establishment and endowment of such social-welfare institutions as hospitals, homes for the aged, orphanages, and reformatory institutions.

Documents of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt indicate that charity in the sense of social justice was considered a divinely decreed principle. The reforms of King Urukagina (c. 2400 BCE) were praised because "he...

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This section contains 2,971 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Charity Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Charity from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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