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As one of the most frequently commentated on biblical books during antiquity and the middle ages, the Song of Songs has played a central role in the history of Christian spirituality. At a time of heightened interest in the Song of Songs among biblical scholars, historians, and students of spirituality, this Companion to the Song of Songs in the History of Spirituality provides a state-of-the art overview of its history, challenges some conventional wisdom, and presents innovative studies of some lesser-known aspects of the Song’s reception. The essays in this volume—including a chapter on Jewish interpretation—present the diverse forms of spirituality inspired by the Song since the beginning of the Christian era.

Contributors: Ann W. Astell, Mark S. Burrows, Emily Cain, Catherine Cavadini, Rabia Gregory, Arthur Holder, Jason Kalman, Suzanne LaVere, Hannah Matis, Bernard McGinn, Timothy H. Robinson, and Karl Shuve.
In: A Companion to the Song of Songs in the History of Spirituality
In: A Companion to the Song of Songs in the History of Spirituality


We examined patterns of infant care and the relative importance of female age, rank and relatedness to allomaternal care for a wild population of wedge-capped capuchin monkeys, Cebus olivaceus in Venezuela. Mothers interacted primarily with their own infants throughout the study. Infant age affected the timing and type of allomaternal interaction; investigation occurred primarily in the first 3 months of life, carrying was dominant during the second 3 months, and association occurred primarily in the third 3 months. The onset and level of allomaternal care assured a high level of infant care as maternal care was declining, suggesting that allomaternal care is an important component of infant survival. The relative importance of female age, rank and relatedness varied for different behaviour. Relatedness was the most consistently important effect. Sibling females participated in allomaternal care almost 4 times more often than other females and were especially active in carrying and associating with infants. Female rank was an important effect when the coefficient of relatedness was less than 0.5: high-ranking females participated in allomaternal care more than low-ranking females. Old juveniles and nulliparous adults interacted with infants more than young juveniles and parous adults, but the effect of female age was relatively unimportant. Allomaternal nursing may represent a form of reciprocal altruism. Allomaternal nursing supplemented maternal nursing and was unrelated to kinship or rank of female.

In: Behaviour