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Situating Empathy in Diverse Societies

1:00pm-1:10pm on Monday 29 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

Empathy is one of the most celebrated political emotions of the twenty-first century. Contemporary public figures from Barack Obama to Mark Zuckerberg talk about empathy as the root of responsible citizenship, with others arguing that Donald Trump’s divisiveness was due to his apparent lack of empathy. Dozens of best-selling books promise to improve the capacity for empathy so that we can have a more civil and equal society, develop better relationships, and succeed in business. Anthropologists have critically explored the role of positive emotions, such as sympathy and compassion in humanitarian politics, and it is evident that politics grounded in triggering good emotions is not universally good, and may actually result in a disregard for universal rights.

In this lunchtime lecture, newly-appointed Academic Director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, Professor Esra Ozyurek calls for a more complex understanding of empathy in its social and political context, without discarding its moral implications. Esra will discuss what happens when we attribute intentionality to another by putting ourselves in their shoes, and the impact this can have on modern political and social values in the context of earlier discussions of empathy in the German language and the work of Edmund Husserl.

Esra Ozyurek is the Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths and Shared Values at the Faculty of Divinity. This talk is part of the Quick Bites // Religion and Theology at Lunchtime series.

You can join this event via the link below:

Additional Information

Age: Young Adults 12 – 18, Adults
Timing: Available on Demand, Live Stream
Cost: Free
Theme: Society

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