Reading Hurts: Austin Sarat and Paul Kahn Question the Sacrifice of Life for the State

by kris bishop on July 29, 2009

(originally published July 8, 2009 on CUNY Radio Podcasts)


Kahn_Final cover Sarat_cover

Austin Sarat, author of Pain, Death, and the Law, and Paul Kahn, author of Sacred Violence, examine how religious ideas and the use of “sacred violence” play a significant role in modern secular philosophy, political theory and ultimately, the state itself.

“Perhaps the greatest mark of sacred power in modern law is its ability to convince our leaders that they have the right to command us to sacrifice our lives for the state,” says Austin Sarat, professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College, and author of “When the State Kills: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics and Culture.” Sarat was joined by Paul Kahn, director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale University, in a discussion entitled “Does the State Rely on Sacred Violence?” sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Click below for more information and to read reviews:

Sacred Violence: Torture, Terror, and Sovereignty
by Paul Kahn
Paper: 9780472050475

Pain, Death, and the Law

edited by Austin Sarat

Paper: 9780472067671

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