Presented by: Klaus Wegleitner, Patrick Schuchter, Kathleen Mcloughlin
The political philosopher and care ethicist Joan Tronto suggests that a caring society and a caring democracy require settings where people can learn from and about the lives of others. In this sense, compassionate communities enable people to exchange their existential experiences, to generate common knowledge of local care cultures and resources in end-of-life care and to engage in care. In some way, to share existential experiences and “wisdom of care” could help to ensure the strengthening of social resources and social cohesion, and the promotion of supportive environments. Within the scope of compassionate community initiatives and participatory research projects in Austria, Germany and Ireland, we have created and tested various settings and methods of organizing existential conversation.
Aim & Approach
On the basis of our insights at both a practical and conceptual level from three European settings we will: a) dialogue with the participants about their personal experiences and points of reference; b) reflect and analyse underlying contradictions and challenges; and c) discuss overall conclusions with regard to potential implications and conditions required to strengthen compassion in our communities. A number of different methods to enable ethical dialogue and generate wisdom of care will be presented and one method will be tested jointly as a basis for reflection and discussion.
Our approaches to organizing existential conversations and enabling ethical dialogue in the community incorporate community development, in the frame of health promotion, and practical, communal ethics. Telling and sharing stories of care and ethical reflection creates connectedness, brings relief, and offers new perspectives; worldly wisdom of care becomes shared knowledge in the community.