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Reading Group: Guilt in the News

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Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, TBC
Booking details: No booking required

Our Reading Groups, Workshops and other seminars are open to members of the Guilt Group.

Anyone who wishes to join should email James Brown: jpc.brown@bbk.ac.uk

Concepts of guilt and practices that depend on them have been with us for many centuries in law, economics, religion and other spheres.  Yet in comparatively recent times, they may have become newly problematic.  From the late nineteenth century, accounts of the origin of society began to appear that ascribed it not to progress or to the establishment of justice, but to guilt.  Freud’s ‘scientific myth’ of the sons killing the father is, perhaps, the best known of these.  Durkheim and Girard are also among those for whom guilt is socially foundational or constitutive.  An enquiry into the significance of guilt in modern society and governance might start from this modern reinvention of guilt as a kind of originary sin.

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