Zurechnungskulturen in Antike und Moderne

The lecture and podium discussion "Zurechnungskulturen in Antike und Moderne" is part of the exhibition "Godly Injustice" of the University of Bonn's Academic Art Museum.

With Werner Gephart (Bonn), Günther Jakobs (Bonn), Frank Rumscheid (Bonn), Sabine Schrenk (Bonn), Martin Schermaier (Bonn), Carl-Friedrich Stuckenberg (Bonn) and Benno Zabel (Bonn).


The panel discussion is embedded in the exhibition "Godly Injustice" which focuses on ancient myths and narrations from the Old Testament that thematize cruel punishment and tests of faith. Acts of punishment, such as Apollo and Artemis executing the Niobids or Abraham binding Isaac at God’s demand, appear to present-day observers as excessive, arbitrary, and thus unjust. In conformity to ideas from ancient times, this demonstration of divine superiority, however, defended an objective world order that could become jeopardized through the doubting of divine power or the human hubris. With this in mind, jurists, legal philosophers, art and legal historians, cultural sociologists, and archeologists would like to discuss the problem of criminal attribution, which spans over various epochs and cultures. To do so, one must thoroughly contemplate the nature of crime and punishment. If crime is seen as the damage of collective feelings, then attribution involves identifying the person or thing “responsible” for it. Can attribution be grasped as the transfer of collective feelings? And what about legal claims to rationality and justice? Besides of as an act of subsumption, how is this process understood and which narratives have shaped collective memory? It is exactly these fundamental questions of crime, guilt, and punishment that the panel would like to confront.   

Following an introductory talk by Werner Gephart, Founding Director of the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”, renowned legal scholars, legal historians, and archeologists from the University of Bonn will discuss the problem of attribution with regard to pieces in the exhibition from their respective scientific perspectives.