Our Quest is Framed Around the Following Research Questions
- Why do we tend to glow when we give? Why does kind giving generally enhance the happiness and health of the giver? More / Video
- How do kindness, empathy, and compassion heal and prevent illness, and how can identity formation occur around these qualities? More / Video
- How can parents and families raise kind kids with a concern for all humanity? More / Video
- How can young people find and follow their callings? More / Video
- How does our awareness of the One Mind within us all (a.k.a. “God,” “Ultimate Reality”) bring Inner Peace, emotional healing, and expanded kindness? More / Video
- How does cherishing nature as a sacred gift benefit us? More / Video
- How can the major religions of the world abide in mutual tolerance, freedom of speech, and in the love for all humanity without exception, including those who do not believe as “we” do? More / Video
Stephen G. Post on Why It’s Good to Be Good
“I am pleased to see that the noted author Dr. Stephen Post is addressing themes such as consciousness and interconnectedness in his new book, which will contribute to the flourishing of humanity.”
—The Dalai Lama
“You are leading one of the most significant initiatives of this generation. The connection between research and application cannot be over-emphasized. Thank you!”
—Pastor Otis Moss, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, Morehouse College
“I am a great admirer of Stephen Post’s work on the science of love, altruism, health, and longevity. This connection can touch us all. This work is pioneering, inspiring and could change people’s lives.”
—George E. Vaillant, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
“Stephen Post has contributed more than anyone else to the dialogue concerning the scientific and health implications of altruistic and generous behavior. His leadership has spearheaded an exciting new area of research. The field has the strong potential to change people’s lives in a healthy way.”
—Gregory L. Fricchione, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Director of the Benson-Henry Mind-Body Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital
My new book Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease is now Amazon’s #1 New Release in Alzheimer’s.
I am very grateful for this wonderful review of my recent book, God and Love on Route 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness, written by Charles Scribner, a distinguished classmate from St. Paul's School, heir of Scribner Books, and a lucid literary giant in his own right. He writes in Issue II 2019/20 of the SPS Alumni Horae as follows:
“I discovered Stephen Post’s amazing book (with lots on our years at SPS, including photos), and just wrote the following review for Amazon: For anyone who, like the Magi, dreams of the need to ‘return home by another route,’ this book offers a priceless roadmap to the ultimate life journey. I knew the author (aka ‘the boy’) when we were both boys at the same sainted school, but it took only a half century and a major reunion (my first in 40 years) to discover his recent book—a supreme synchronicity, QED. I don’t think I’ve ever, even after a career in publishing, read a more vivid and moving spiritual account with a message as practical as mystical. It is a treasure of pure gold bound in paper. And bound to last: the book that keeps on giving.”
April 12–14, 2024 Mystics & Scientists 2024 Online Event
Essays: 2019 Youth Essay Contest Winners
Article: Humility and 12 Step Recovery
Article: Is Grandma Still There?
Free Excerpts: Is Ultimate Reality Unlimited Love?
Free E-Book: The Love That Does Justice
More Institute Books
Timeline of Accomplishments
Empathy, Altruism and Agape Conference, sponsored by the Templeton Foundation and the Fetzer Institute at MIT in October 1999, co-chaired by Stephen G. Post and Lynn G. Underwood. The conference was attended by 15 leading scientists and an equal number of spiritual thinkers, theologians, and philosophers.
Sir John Templeton published Pure Unlimited Love: An Eternal Creative Force and Blessing Taught by All Religions. Sir John faxed Stephen Post at Case Western School of Medicine and invited him to establish The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, providing that he “remain true” to Sir John’s vision of Unlimited Love as Ultimate Reality.
IRUL registered The Institute as a Non-Profit Public Charity in the State of Ohio, EIN 34-1961143 (renewed 2022).
August “Gathering” of Research Area Consultants and Board Members in University Circle’s Glidden House with the John Templeton Foundation’s Judy Marchand and Pamela Thompson.
Prepared our first Request for Research Proposals, which has resulted in grants for 60 research projects that were funded over the years in the range of $4,000,000.
Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (IRUL) developed a grant in collaboration with Lynn G. Underwood of the Fetzer Institute for Research on Raising Kinds Kids. This was in the range of $1,000,000.
Publication by the Templeton Press (“timeless classic”) of Russian sociologist and Founder of the Department of Sociology at Harvard Pitirim A. Sorokin’s pioneering book, The Ways and Power of Love: Types, Factors, and Techniques of Moral Transformation (original 1954); included an Introduction by Stephen Post. Sorokin founded the Harvard Center for Research in Creative Altruism in 1949.
Stephen Post was invited to the Address the Nation in the Annual Christmas Eve Program, “Talk of the Nation.” He gave a talk on “Unlimited Love and The Science of Altruism” (24 December, 2002)
May 31- June 5: Works of Love Conference at Villanova Campus, co-sponsored by the Metanexus Institute. There were more than 800 participants from 40 nations, representing philosophy-theology, physical/life, and social sciences.
Compassionate Love Research Conference (Fetzer Institute/Institute for Research on Unlimited Love/NIH) Washington, D.C.: May 2004.
Prepared first Request for Course Proposals, which led to 20 courses taught in leading universities and high schools.
Convened a major conference at the Claremont School of Theology on teaching Unlimited Love (with the helpful leadership of Professor Tom Oord).
Stephen Post was selected for The Best American Spiritual Writing 2005, in The Best American Series, for “Alzheimer’s & Grace” (2004, First Things), Richard Neuhaus Prize.
Stephen Post was a Book of the Year Finalist in the Political Science Category for Human Nature and the Freedom of Public Religious Expression by Foreword Magazine (University of Notre Dame Press 2004).
Stephen Post was elected Fellow, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, for “distinguished contributions to medicine” (2004-).
Institute selected for all seven Featured Week Religion Lectures, The Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York (August 22-26, 2005). The lectures were covered by Krista Tippet and NPR, and attended by Drs. Jack and Pina Templeton.
Matthew T. Lee, then a sociologist at the University of Akron, received an IRUL course award to develop and launch “Sociology of Love,” which was featured in local and national media, including the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Altruistic Love Conference co-sponsored with the Metanexus Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
IRUL National Conference with the Ford Foundation, The Love that Does Justice: Spiritual Activism. Twenty spiritual leaders and twenty activists gathered in University Circle, Cleveland, to consider the inevitable links between love and justice. The conference resulted in a book co-edited by Michael Edwards (Ford) and Stephen Post.
Stephen Post was Co-Director of the Agape & the Pursuit of Happiness project, Emory University Center for Law and Religion (2006-2010).
Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Top-Selling Nonfiction List: Why Good Things Happen to Good People (2008).
Annual Award in Medical Humanities by World Literacy Canada for Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Royal Ontario Museum (2007).
Institute at Stony Brook maintains completely independent 501 c3 status and registers as a Non-Profit Public Charity in the State of NY.
Stephen G. Post, et al., eds.: Altruism and Altruistic Love (2009). The book was selected for “250 Most Significant Books in Science & Religion” by Cambridge University Society for Science and Religion.
IRUL conferences with the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College on The Golden Rule, resulted in a series of books edited by Rabbi Jacob Neusner and Mew Testament exegete Bruce Chilton.
Full IRUL Feature on The Daily Show with John Oliver
2009-2017 Helping Others Live Sober (PI Maria Pagano, initial IRUL support and then Templeton Foundation support) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The project involved team members from the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard MGH, & Stony Brook. More than 50 research papers were published in premier journals.
2011-2014: Collaboration with the Templeton Foundation, IRUL, the Pew Charitable Trust, and Emory University (Co-PI John Witte) in support of the 3-year project on “The Best Love of the Child.” There were 7 conferences at Emory Schools of Law and Divinity, and a series of books published by Eerdmans and the University of Chicago Press.
Alcoholics Anonymous: New Directions in Spirituality and Recovery conference. Stephen Post was Co-Chair with Marc Galanter, MD, New York University. New York: March, 2013.
IRUL Founding Co-Sponsor L’Arche of Long Island, Riverhead Village (2011)
Stephen Post and IRUL received the United States Congress Certificate of Special Recognition “In Recognition of Outstanding Achievement” (28 November 2012).
Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in HealthCare (shared with Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD) from the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (2012).
Stephen Post delivered the inaugural Charles Evans Annual Lecture on the Art and Science of Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Association New York Chapter, Times Center, New York.
Matthew Lee, Margaret Poloma, and Stephen Post publish The Heart of Religion with Oxford University Press, based on a national survey of the impact of the experience of God’s love on benevolent service.
Richard T. Watson (d. July 20, 2011), Board Member of IRUL from 2001, attendee at our 1999 MIT conference, inspired by Sir John (& co-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers with Gordon Gund) and his wife Judith endowed the Richard T. Watson Chair Science & Religion at Harvard Divinity School. This Chair was filled by Ahmed Ragab, who gave an inaugural lecture on 24 April 2014 entitled, “Science, Religion and the Making of Knowledge.” The endowment was credited with establishing “a new field for posterity at HDS in Science & Religion.” Judy Watson, the two Watson sons Andrew and David, and Stephen Post attended.
Publication of a book written by Stephen Post at Sir John’s request via his son Jack in 2008. Sir John selected the title, Is Ultimate Reality Unlimited Love? The book had a Foreword written by Drs. John M. and Josephine Templeton. It includes many of Sir John’s faxes to SGP, as well as statements from his family and friends about his views on unlimited love and spirit.
October 2014: The Institute website was taken down by ISIS TEAM DZ, the hacking arm of ISIS that has become active against designated targets worldwide. The FBI reported that our site was among the first five that ISIS destroyed in the U.S. The hack was reported to me the night I returned to Stony Brook from speaking on Unlimited Love at the Pocantico Hills Conference near Tarrytown, NY. I had written a newsletter about how Sufis have the best interpretation of the Koran. This had gotten around the Middle East through friends in Jordan. A member of the IRUL Board and our webmaster e-mailed me with the message from TEAM DZ. Instead of reacting, the IRUL Board decided to use the opportunity to do something creative. Two months later, we launched the international youth essay contest on religious tolerance. Eighteen months later, we sponsored a major conference at the United Nations headquarters. Our essay winners and many others filled a large part of the building, and Pastor Otis Moss, Jr., Post’s mentor from Cleveland, provided the opening address.
August 12: IRUL sponsored the International United Nations Youth Day “Youth Essays On Peace, Tolerance and Human Rights,” with presentations from young essay contest winners (ages 11-13, 14-17, 18-20) whose work was reviewed by the IRUL Board. This major UN event included speakers from Pakistan to Rio, and was modeled after Sir John’s Laws of Life contests. It was repeated in 2018.
Stephen Post won the 2017 Editor-in-Chief’s Award Paper of the Year, American Journal of Health Promotion, for “Rx It’s Good to be Good,” an IRUL central theme.
Stephen Post attended the Leadership Core, the Spirituality of Global Transformation Conferences, United Nations Population Fund (2015-18).
Stephen Post presented the Leadership Core, Future Capital Founders’ Report, United Nations & World Academy of Art & Science (2017-2020).
Stephen Post was Co-Recipient of the 2019 National Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Professionalism Award “Recognizing best practices in medical professionalism education.” The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Professionalism Award was awarded to Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University for its Professional Identity Formation curriculum.”
Co-Chair with Matthew T. Lee and Stephen Bardle: Pitirim Sorokin Seminar on The Ways and Power of Love, Linacre College, Oxford University UK (2022).
From the very start of the Institute, Stephen Post understood that one of the deepest tests of unlimited love is love for “deeply forgetful people,” with an emphasis on family caregivers. If unlimited love applies to all individuals without exception, it includes those who are deeply forgetful and cognitively impaired. The result of this concentration is the 120th book written by members of the Institute, Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022).
Stephen Post, Byron Johnson, Jeff Levin, and Matt Lee began a Gallop study of “paradoxical lucidity” as reported by family caregivers of “deeply forgetful loved ones.” This was made possible by a generous three-year gift from an anonymous donor.
The Institute hosted a second conference at Oxford University's Linacre College, entitled “The Love of Nature, Neighbor and Self: A Conversation with the World's Great Spiritual and Moral Traditions.”
In the Giving of Self Lies the Discovery of a Deeper Self
Do you recognize an immense need to understand the very heart of positive action?
In June of 2001, I sat down with a lawyer in the old Caribou Coffee House on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, to discuss founding an institute that would nurture new scientific research and spiritual-philosophical reflection on the topic of love. Not any kind of love, mind you. Not giddy romantic love or love of chocolate or designer shoes. But the kind of love in which the security, well-being and happiness of others feels as meaningful and real to us as our own. The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, so named by our initial benefactor, Sir John Templeton, was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity several months later.
It is now recognized worldwide.
—Dr. Stephen G. Post