SEMINAR: Alenka Zupančič (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts), 'Love thy neighbour as you love thyself!?'

Love thy neighbour as you love thyself!?
Alenka Zupančič
(Institute of Philosophy, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

5 p.m., Tuesday 6th November
Pavilion Room, St Antony’s College

All welcome

Reference to Christianity and to Christian tradition is one of the key ingredients of the expanding right-wing identity politics in Europe (and more largely, in the West), including its more or less explicit nationalism and racism. The commandment to love your Neighbour as yourself obviously presents this politics with a problem and necessitates a (re)interpretation of its meaning. The lecture will look into some examples of this interpretational work, and into how it affects the figure of the Neighbour. At the same time, it will interrogate reasons for which Freud has found this commandment to be at the very core of what he called “discontent” (Unbehagen) in our “civilisation” (Kultur). What is this aggressiveness that tends to emerge together with the figure of the Neighbour, as inseparable from it? To answer this question, the lecture will take recourse to the (Lacanian) psychoanalysis – not in order to steer away from the political dimension of the question, but on the contrary to help us work our way back to its political dimension.


Enquiries: or 01865-274559.

Organised with support from the First World War and Global Religions AHRC-funded project, All Souls College, the Asian Studies Centre of St Antony’s College, the Global History Centre and the Centre for European History, both at the Faculty of History. Convenors: Faisal Devji and David Priestland.