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Conceptualizing Compassion in Communication for Communication

Emotional Experience in Islamic Sermons (Bengali waʿẓ maḥfils)

Max Stille

conceptual change and emotional experience will demonstrate that this order might be turned upside down, thus inverting the conventional logic of conceptual change. (Com)passion and Mercy in waʿẓ maḥfils Let us start with one term often used in the sermons

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Rihab Azar

investing in mindfulness—which, as Patrick Comstock (2015) argues, has the potential to enhance the democratic ethos—it may be possible to dismantle the hateful ideologies that envelop and limit the thoughts and compassion of many people. Mindfulness may

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Barry Windeatt

rhetoric that promotes sentiments of sorrow, compunction and compassion. In the Pseudo-Origen’s meditation, tears are both admirable and imitable yet also surpassed by hope in Christ. Twice in the Gospel narrative Mary Magdalene is asked, ‘Why do you weep

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‘Refugees Are Welcome Here!’

How Public Opinion Got Ahead of Government in Summer 2015 and Stayed There

Maurice Wren

got through. The tragic photographs of Aylan Kurdi were an undoubted tipping point, and the government, no longer able to ignore the growing disquiet, was forced to take action. This public response was and is overwhelmingly motivated by compassion

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"There's Something About <em>HER</em>"

Realities of Black Girlhood in a Settler State

Kandice A. Sumner

In this article I examine my lived experience as a Black girl in a white settler state using an autoethnographic approach within the framework of critical race and feminist theory to unpack the deleteriousness of existing as a Black female in a white educational settler state. Drawing on my doctoral research, I conclude that greater attention, in terms of theory and praxis as well as compassion, needs to be applied to the educational journeys of Black girls in white settler states, particularly in predominantly white schools.

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Rex Emerick

Early in his career Jean-Paul Sartre dared to speak the truth about human emotions, but his message has hitherto been ignored or summarily rejected. His Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions to date has no defenders because it dispels the panoply of cherished myths surrounding emotion and propounds a thesis that affronts common sense: Emotion is the apotheosis of bad faith. This proposition is as unpalatable as it is revolutionary. Do we really want to accept the fact that joy, love, and compassion are born from duplicitous motives?

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Anne Sophie Refskou

This article explores examples of emotion and perception in a number of Shakespearean dramas. It discusses compassionate perception as a process of synaesthesia, referring to recent theoretical strands from fields such as the cultural history of emotions and historical phenomenology, and consults early modern sources, such as Thomas Wright's The Passions of the Minde in Generall (first published in 1601). Focusing especially on the relation between compassion – here literally defined as shared emotion – and tactility, it discusses what the familiar notion of being emotionally 'touched' (or 'moved') implies in an early modern context. Locating 'touching experiences', potentially produced by performances of plays such as Titus Andronicus, the article, at the same time, places such experiences in the context of contemporaneous contesting cultural discourses on whether such experiences might be considered beneficial and instructive to the minds and bodies in the auditorium or whether they might have the reverse effect as both morally and physically corruptive.

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Elder care in the new Russia

The changing face of compassionate social security

Melissa L. Caldwell

Changing emigration and co-residence patterns in the post-Soviet period have left many elderly Russians living alone or without caretakers in close proximity. In addition, Russia's transition from state socialism to neoliberal capitalism has encouraged private welfare groups, often funded and staffed by foreigners, to assume increased responsibility for providing social security to elderly people. Consequently, notions of compassion are undergoing transformation in Russia, and the types of people who provide care are also changing dramatically as caregivers are more likely to be strangers, and especially foreigners, rather than family members. This article examines social security arrangements among Russia's elderly, with particular emphasis on the emergence of transnational caregiving relationships, and how these caregiving arrangements differ from global care networks reported elsewhere.

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Miles Groth

Shakespeare was keenly affected by the lives of the boys who played the parts of women in his plays. Evidence for his understanding and compassion is found in the speeches of those characters who cross-dress female to male. By a double negation of his gender, the boy actor is given an opportunity to speak for himself as well for the female character he is portraying. The examples are Julia as Sebastian in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Portia as Balthazar and Nerissa as both the young lawyer’s clerk and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, Viola as Cesario in Twelfth Night, Imogen as Fidele in Cymbeline, and especially Rosalind as Ganymede in As You Like It. I argue that what they were given to say by Shakespeare reveals the experience of being a boy, not only in early modern England or ancient Greece (where all parts were also played by males), but also in our time. I suggest the treatment of boys in the theatre is mirrored by the treatment of boys today. In those instances where doubled impersonation was written into Shakespeare’s plays, we have a unique opportunity to hear boys tell us about themselves. As with so much else that is timeless insight, the bard understood and articulated the experience of being a boy. Taken together, the utterances of his “boys” tell us how it is to be a boy.

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The editors of Theoria feel especially privileged to present, as the opening contribution to this issue, a remarkable essay by the late great sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Not long before his untimely death earlier this year, Bourdieu entrusted the journal with the publication of this reflection on, and spirited re-affirmation of, the role of the intellectual and the nature of intellectual engagement. This essay is especially resonant in that it speaks so eloquently to, and by implication endorses, the underlying nature and purpose of Theoria as an editorial project. Thus, as we mourn the passing of this remarkable scholar, we take pleasure in communicating through this essay the passion, compassion, wit and commitment – as well as the vast and singular erudition so lightly worn – that were the hallmarks of his large and impressive oeuvre. We have departed from Theoria’s convention in this instance, and have elected not to provide a preliminary sketch of Bourdieu’s argument. Instead, we invite readers to engage directly, without our intermediation, with his evocation of the “utopia of the collective intellectual”; it is to the realization of this “utopia” that we would like to believe this journal makes a modest contribution. We would thus like to believe Pierre Bourdieu would have taken pleasure in engaging, critically, with the contributions to this issue – contributions which provocatively address, among other things, the globally pressing issues of justice and democracy as well as the need to revisit the prospects of market socialism in the context of developing societies.