For hundreds of years, empathy has garnered much scholarly attention and discussion.* Across many disciplines from philosophy and psychology to theology and education, scholars as well as teachers, clinicians,
and the general public have critically debated the topic of empathy, posing such questions as: Are humans innately good or bad? What is the relationship between empathy and behavior? Do young children have the capacity for empathy? Can empathy be taught? Questions such as these spark heated debate and some controversy because the answers have both theoretical and practical implications for human nature and functioning.