"Bal and Veltkamp (2013) found that reading fiction increases empathy over time, but only if the reader feels transported into the story, and strongly identifies with the main characters. Nontransported readers, by contrast, become less empathic" (62 De Cruz and De Smedt, "The Epistemic Value of Speculative Fiction).
Well, that kind of changes things, doesn't it?
What might it mean for people who read old texts that they can't relate to, I wonder? (Like, ya know, the Christian Bible, etc...)
This is an instance for folks who follow The Liturgists Podcast, The Alien & The Robot, and other things The Liturgists create.