Session #3 of The Mind and Life XXXII Dialogue at Botho University in Gaborone, Botswana held on August 17-19, 2017.

Clap exercise by Sechaba Maape: 0:54

Presentation by Rebecca Shansky: 6:11

First panel discussion: 29:52

Presentation by Uri Hasson: 1:03:11

Second panel discussion: 1:36:11

Audience Q&A: 2:10:45

Program Description: The Botswana Dialogue brings African humanitarian and spiritual leaders, scholars and healers into conversation with international neuroscientists about the African worldview of Botho/Ubuntu, during five sessions followed by a concert performance by Vusi Mahlasela.

Defining humanity through our connections with one another, Botho/Ubuntu is expressed as: “I am because you are.” Examining African values and healing practices in light of new scientific research on social connection and trauma, the Dialogue in Botswana explores the potential of Botho/Ubuntu as a framework for healing the legacy and trauma of wars and colonialism, and advancing social justice and women’s equality.

The purpose of this Dialogue is fourfold: 1) To explore the indigenous African ethic of Botho/Ubuntu as it relates to Buddhist ideas of interdependence and compassion; 2) To examine current scientific understanding of how our interconnectedness impacts one another for good or ill; 3) To understand how Botho/Ubuntu can be distorted to maintain cultural norms and systems of power that lead to oppression of, and violence against, women, children and other marginalized groups; and 4) To envision how our connectedness can heal division, forgive profound transgression and point toward a richer understanding of what it means to be human.

Rebecca Shansky, PhD

Northeastern University

Rebecca Shansky is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her doctoral work at Yale University examined the influence of sex hormones on stress-related … MORE

Uri Hasson, PhD

Princeton University

Uri Hasson grew up in Jerusalem. As an undergraduate, he studied philosophy and cognitive sciences at the Hebrew University. He completed his PhD in Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute in … MORE


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