This I believe the first comprehensive scholarly volume devoted to a fundamental human quality-Gratitude. The editors Emmons and McCullough bring together scholars not only from Religion, but from a wide diversity of fields.
The contents of the volume are as follows:
Preface , Robert C. Solomon
1. The Psychology of Gratitude , Robert A. Emmons
Part I: Philosophical and Theological Foundations
2. Gratitude in the History of Ideas , Edward Harpham
3. Gratitude in Judaism , Solomon Schimmel
4. The Blessings of Gratitude: A Conceptual Analysis , Robert C. Roberts
Part II: Social, Personality and Developmental Approaches to Gratitude
5. Gratitude in Modern Life: Its Manifestations and Development , Dan P. McAdams and Jack Bauer
6. The Gratitude of Exchange and the Gratitude of Caring: A Developmental-Interactionist Perspective of Moral Emotions , Ross Buck
7. Parent of the Virtues? The Prosocial Contours of Gratitude , Michael E. McCullough and Jo-Ann Tsang
Part III: Perspectives from Emotion Theory
8. Gratitude (Like Other Positive Emotions) Broadens and Builds , Barbara L. Fredrickson
9. Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being , Philip Watkins
Part IV: Perspectives from Anthropology and Biology
10. Gratitude and Gift Exchange , Aafke Komter
11. Primate Social Reciprocity and the Origin of Gratitude , Kristin Bonnie and Frans de Waal
12. Gratitude and the Heart: The Psychophysiology of Appreciation , Rollin McCraty and Doc Childre
Part V: Discussion and Conclusions
13. Gratitude: Considerations From a Moral Perspective , Charles Shelton
14. Gratitude as Thankfulness and as Gratefulness , Brother David Steindl-Rast
Appendix: Annotated Bibliography of Research on Gratitude , Jo-Ann Tsang & Michael E. McCullough
As being grateful to others has been demonstrated as a quality which enhances well- being in life, this volume also can have practical benefit for its readers.
In Judaism, the chapter which Solomon Schimmel writes on here one ideally sees God as a Giver to whom we are to be in continual feeling of gratitude. And in fact the expression of gratitude is a central element in Jewish daily prayer. Rabbi Chaim Lifschitz of Jerusalem has spoken of it as the first moral quality.
In his introduction Emmons explains why 'Gratitude' has in fact been under- studied, and why this present volume is so timely. He also raises the questions related to Gratitude's definition and meaning- and also speaks about the vice of ingratitude- He too indicates how Gratitude has meaning and implication for both mental and physical well- being, how it plays a central part in major religious traditions, and also in the new Positive Psychology( Happiness Studies)
This volume gives a clear and varied sense of how important 'Gratitude' is in so many different areas of life and experience.
Its reader will be grateful for having it.