A study of empathy as lived by Edith Stein, Edward Flanagan, and Dorothy Day: a Catholic perspective

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Pamela Fitzpatrick (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Glenn Hudak

Abstract: In this study, empathy was critically examined through the lens of the Catholic inspired lived empathy of Dorothy Day, Edward Flanagan, and Saint Edith Stein through personal writings and scholarship of note. Common themes have emerged expressing their outwardly focused empathy in the following ways: empathy as reflective of figurative motherhood, empathy as a valuing of the individual, empathy as an expression of moral vision of the common humanity of people, and empathy emerging as a component or force in challenging times to foster social justice. Day co-founded the Catholic Worker; Flanagan created Boys Town, and Stein was a gifted writer and speaker. All three people tenaciously and actively worked for the welfare of others. This biography of empathy synthesizes the Catholicism and Catholic inspired, action oriented empathy of Day, Flanagan, and Stein to glean some new discoveries about empathy and to decide if there is such an expression of humanness as Catholic empathy. In looking at Day, Flanagan, and Stein and how they authentically lived so others could live with dignity, we can learn more about the value of empathy and why it is so important to act when injustice occurs--rather than merely sympathizing with sorrowing people. Day, Flanagan, and Stein flow through this study; their empathy holds pride of place, and so does the teachings of Catholicism. Catholicism, writ large, may be considered as important a main character in this biography as Stein, Flanagan, and Day.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Boys Town, Catholicism, Dorothy Day, Edith Stein, Edward Flanagan, Empathy
Day, Dorothy, $d 1897-1980
Flanagan, Edward Joseph, $d 1886-1948
Stein, Edith, $c Saint, $d 1891-1942
Empathy $x Religious aspects

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