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Promotie Jolanda van Dijke

Jolanda van Dijke verdedigt haar proefschrift, met als titel Receptive Empathy- The role of empathy in good care from a care ethics and a humanist chaplaincy perspective.


This thesis explores empathy’s potential contribution to good care from a care ethics and a humanist chaplaincy perspective, combining theoretical and empirical studies. Care ethicists have often critically discussed empathy. They recognize and appreciate empathy’s value while also addressing potential issues, such as the risk of projection, overidentification and the problem of empathic bias. Furthermore, they criticize the prevailing cognitive understanding of empathy and the lack of attention towards its relational aspects. Humanist chaplains provide deeply relational care, and their professional standard and training emphasize the importance of empathy in care. Their perspectives can, therefore, provide valuable insights into the meaning, functions, challenges, and practice of empathy in daily care. 


Grounded in both care ethics and humanist chaplaincy, this thesis introduces the concept of ‘receptive empathy,’ an other-oriented and relational conceptualization of empathy that underscores the importance of openness and attentiveness. Additionally, this research highlights the importance of integrating empathy into broader moral and care theories and proposes ‘professional empathy’ as a strategy to guide empathic practice in daily care. The first part of the thesis is devoted to constructing a theoretical framework from a care ethics perspective. The second part employs a grounded theory approach to analyze twenty interviews with humanist chaplains working in various healthcare institutions, prisons, and military settings. Finally, a separate study discusses the practical implications of the empirical and theoretical research for empathy education in health professions, particularly in nursing and medical care, where reduced empathy is a known issue.



Contactpersoon pedel Yamit Gutman
Locatie Geertekerk, Utrecht
Datum 10-6-2024
Openingstijden aanvang 10.30 uur precies