FORMER Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams gives a public lecture at the University of Winchester next week.

The lecture, on June 11, titled Ethics and Empathy: A New Look, explores the boundaries between science, philosophy and human psychology.

Following recent neurological research which sparked further interest in the mapping of empathy circuits in the brain, Dr Williams considers the relationship between ethics and empathy.

He explores whether we can attribute what we call evil to the malfunctioning of such processes or whether we still need other factors such as language, culture, politics and religion to think through our ethical problems.

The lecture concludes a postgraduate research day in the department of theology and religious studies, in which students have the opportunity to present their work to their peers and staff.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Williams to give the concluding lecture in the programme, and to make it open to a wider public.

“He is widely regarded as one of the most distinguished theologians and church leaders of his generation,” said Professor Neil Messer, head of theology and religious studies at the University of Winchester.

Dr Williams has published academic books and articles on subjects ranging from early Christian theology to Russian literature, as well as his own poetry and translations of other poets’ work.

The lecture takes place at 7pm in The Stripe, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester.