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Ideas from the CBC: The Idea of Home: The Stranger at the Door

Thursday, July 7, 2022

What do you owe to a stranger who arrives at your door? In ancient Greece, hospitality (or xenia) was seen as a sacred moral imperative. Someone who defied the obligations placed on both host and guest risked the wrath of the gods, or even outright war. Today, the word xenia has largely fallen out of use, but its opposite, xenophobia, has been a driving factor in contemporary politics for years. Today’s edition of IDEAS explores ancient traditions of hospitality and whether true hospitality is possible in a world of nation-states and borders.