Mission Statement and Philosophy

Lovingkindness is a nonprofit organization created in 1982 for the purpose of analyzing, investigating, and disseminating information about the effects of religious language (in particular, religious language in English).

The philosophy of Lovingkindness is based on five concepts:

  1. That the effects of language on human beings are powerful, with great potential both for help and for harm.
  2. That religious language -- because it is so tightly linked in human minds with good and evil, reward and punishment, ecstasy and agony -- has especially potent effects on human beings.
  3. That the effects of religious language are in many ways independent of whether affected individuals consider themselves to be religious or not.
  4. That the effects a sequence of English religious language has are those created in the mind of the listener or reader (or thinker) in ordinary English -- regardless of what they might have meant in other languages if they are translations, and regardless of what scholars and specialists of such language may consider them "really" to mean.
  5. That given all of the above, religious language must be taken very seriously and used with scrupulous care and full awareness of responsibility for its effects.

Copyright 1998 Lovingkindness

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All text formatting errors are the responsibility of Steve Marsh and not the fault of Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin.  All copyrights remain in Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin.  [return to Lingua]