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Colloquium on Violence and Religion 2010 - Disabilities, Assimilation and Scapegoating

Moderator: Essaka Joshua, University of Notre Dame
Speakers: Margaret Brinig, holder of the Fitz Duda Family Chair in Law at Notre Dame Law School; Tobin Siebers, the V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor University of Michigan

Margaret Brinig's presentation, Disabilities, Assimilation and Scapegoating, addresses the role of mimetics in families and the scapegoating of the disabled. Brinig argues that much behavior in families, like that in the wider community, can be explained better using mimetic theory than sociobiology or economics. Understanding mimetic rivalry helps us to see not only how marriages go wrong, but also why disabled children, especially those with learning disabilities, tend disproportionately to be the victims of family violence. The competing theories are described and explored using a wide variety of data.

Toby Siebers' lecture, In the Name of Pain, explores the role of pain and suffering as motive forces in discrimination, illustrating how the belief that others are in pain justifies unequal treatment and violence. He reviews a number of case studies having to do with the attribution of pain to others, including cases involving controversial medical interventions, wrongful birth, and euthanasia.

This event took place as part of the "2010 Colloquium on Violence & Religion - Transforming Violence: Cult, Culture and Acculturation"

At the COV&R conference, scholars from a wide range of disciplines explore questions about violence and their impacts on daily life. What sort of artistic, expressive forms and cultural formations result from the experience of violence?


Recorded Thursday, July 01, 2010 at University of Notre Dame - McKenna Hall Auditorium.

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