With an introduction from Stephen Post.
The Ways and Power of Love was originally published in 1954 when Pitirim Sorokin was in the twilight of his career and leading the Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism. His elaborate scientific analysis of love with regard to its higher and lower forms, its causes and effects, its human and cosmic significance, and its core features constitutes the first study on this topic in world literature to date.
Sorokin concluded that with the birth of the atomic age humanity needed more than ever a quantum leap both in the scientific understanding of altruistic love and its implementation. By the late 1940s, his attention was focused entirely on love and its manifestations in compassion, altruism, and generosity. He was especially interested in discovering more about how love for others is related to felt participation in a Presence that is higher than our own and that serves as a source of unlimited love across all the divisions of tribal, religious, political, and ethnic loyalties.
Sorokin was the one absolutely essential twentieth-century pioneer in the study of love at the interface of science and religion. Bringing The Ways and Power of Love back into print allows a new generation of readers to appreciate Sorokin's genius and to move forward with his endeavor at a time when civilization itself continues to be threatened by a marked inability to live up to the ideal of love for all humankind. It is certainly right to hope, with Sorokin, that progress in knowledge about love can move humanity forward to a better future. Turning the sciences toward the study of love is no easy task, but it can and must be done.