Research Groups

Research Groups aim at a long term interdisciplinary collaboration. They provide the frame in which scholars from various disciplines work together on a broader research theme. For an extended time, generally one year, they work and live at the ZiF.

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Forschungsgruppe

'Felix Culpa'? Guilt as Culturally Productive Force

2018/2019

During the last decades, it has become more common to appeal to people's sense of guilt regarding current social problems such as economic exploitation or environmental protection. Besides the political instrumentalization, guilt and shame have also been discovered as cultural forces which are able to foster and expedite moral revolutions, for instance. But the development of political discourse to overlap and become indistinguishable with discourses of guilt has also led to a critical stressing of the destructive consequences if collective guilt becomes a leading notion within a culture. In contrast to current research approaches, the main focus of this research group does not lie in the damaging impacts of guilt, of which a person wants to break free or which he or she tries to overcome as quickly as possible.

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