Davis Lecture to feature the science of compassionate love and altruism

By MEGAN LIGHT, Copy Editor


This year Samford is hosting best-selling author Stephen G. Post for the annual J. Roderick Davis Lecture.

Post will present “The Power of Compassionate Love,” sponsored by the Center for Science and Religion, in the Wright Center Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Assistant Dean of Spiritual Life and Campus Minister Matt Kerlin confirmed that the 2014 Davis Lecture will count as convocation credit this year. Last year, after attending the lecture on traumatic brain injuries, many students were displeased to learn that it did not count for convo credit.

Steven Donaldson, senior fellow of Samford’s Center for Science and Religion, said that Post was chosen for this year’s lecture because of his unique approach to researching altruism.

“You hear over and over again that you have to be loving person, especially in the Samford culture, “ Donaldson said. He said students and faculty can learn from Post how to improve on giving compassionate love to others.

Post is the president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, a foundation that explores the healing powers of love. Donaldson said that many scholars claim there is no true altruism, but Post’s research challenges that notion.

The goal of the institute and Post’s work is to show that loving and giving unselfishly is possible and that it benefits the individual.

Donaldson also said that this is the first year that the Center for Science and Religion was chosen to sponsor the Davis Lecture, and they wanted to be able to present a speaker who studies from a scientific perspective.

Senior religion major Richard Shaw appreciates Post’s research on compassionate love and that his approach does not focus on any single religion.

“I am really excited that Post is focusing on helping every human being, instead of one group who have a particular set of ideals,” Shaw said.

Along with the Davis Lecture, Post will lead several discussions and events with several groups on campus such as Beeson Divinity School and University fellows. A complete list of Post’s events can be found on the Center for Science and Religion website, www.samford.edu/scienceandreligion.

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