Receiving and Giving As Spiritual Exercise

The Spirituality of Care in Soul, Relationship, and Community

Paul G. Schervish, Ph.D

2008, 32 pages. The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, 550 W. North Street, Suite 301, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, 317-274-4200,

Schervish, the director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, explores how spiritual aspects of both receiving and giving affect the giver, personal relationships and the greater community, with an examination of two individuals, Ignacius Loyla, who founded the Jesuits, and Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist nun.

Noting that many individuals and cultures today are experiencing an age of affluence, Schervish says, “The leading question of this era is not just how to appropriately accumulate great wealth, but how to allocate it for deeper purposes…for what I call a moral and spiritual citizenship of care.” Schervish says that many people today are conscientiously seeking to discern how their wealth can best help them carry out their values, accomplish a greater good in society and care for others. He notes that this type of thoughtful giving is important for all people across the economic spectrum, not just the wealthy.