Altruism and Extensivity in the Bahá’í Religion

How to Cite

Heller, W., and H. Mahmoudi. “Altruism and Extensivity in the Bahá’í Religion”. The Journal of Bahá’í Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, Dec. 1991, pp. 45-57, doi:10.31581/jbs-4.4.435(1992).


This article examines the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith in relation to recent research on altruism and prosocial behavior. It discusses the interaction between spiritual and social transformation through Bahá’í beliefs and practices that encourage the development of altruistic personalities in individuals within a social framework whose norms are intrinsically altruistic. The Bahá’í teachings on the relationship of the individual and society, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity are discussed and linked with values and attitudes that recent research suggests foster the development of an altruistic orientation. The role of child socialization and parental discipline is also examined, as well as ethical principles of justice and caring as motivators of altruism, and Bahá’í administrative principles, which provide a social framework for the institutionalization of unity in diversity.
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