Felix culpa?Zur kulturellen Produktivkraft der Schuld

Abstract / DOI

Felix Culpa? Guilt and Cultural Reproduction. The Essay raises the question why it is that literature is so full of narrations of guilt. It argues that literature performs an important function for communities by processing and negotiating issues, which could not be terminated by any social institution. Guilt is such a problem; neither law, moral theory nor religious rituals are able to dissolve all dimensions of guilt. ‹Dirty remains› are always left. However, communities need to handle such accumulating guilt, if not their unity and stability is at risk. Stories of guilt are a space, in which this is possible. With and in guilt we can discover a social force that permanently drives our cultural reproduction, because there is no social life without guilt.

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