"Jag kunde åtminstone berätta hur jag dödade henne...": Om transformerande, rehumaniserande och försonande möjligheter för en skyldig människa, med utgångspunkt i Martin Bubers diskussioner kring existentiell skuld

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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The present study is a philosophical reflection on Martin Buber´s concept, Existential Guilt. To be able to atone existential guilt you must, according to Buber, acknowledge, identify and confess your guilt, if possible, in front of the one you have harmed. The study highlights an area that Buber does not discuss; the area between the existential guilt process and the liberating experiences that Buber stresses follows from this specific guilt process.

The study is partly based on qualitative interviews with a number of incarcerated perpetrators at Pollsmoor Correctional Centre in South Africa, who have also undergone a Restorative Justice Program. The philosophical reflections includes the experiences of these perpetrators encounters with their victims of crime in order to understand what it means to acknowledge your guilt before the one you have harmed. How can it be that the perpetrators, convicted for serious crime, speak about liberating and humanizing experiences after meeting their victims of crime and acknowledging their guilt before them?
The study argues that in the safe space that the specific Restorative Justice program creates, the exposure of the narratives of relatives and victims, in combination with an asymmetrical encounter and the acknowledgement of existential guilt, creates transformative, rehumanizing and reconciling experiences for the guilty person.
With contributions from the philosophers, Emmanuel Lévinas and Paul Ricoeur and the South African trauma- and transformationresearcher, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, reflections around asymmetry, narrativity, recognition, responsibility, rehumanization and reconciliation are also included.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
  • Appelros, Erica, Supervisor
  • Leer-Salvesen, Paul, Supervisor, External person
  • Fridlund, Patrik, Assistant supervisor
Award date2017 Oct 6
Place of PublicationLund
ISBN (Print)978-91-88473-48-6
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-88899-06-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 8

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

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