How the principle of guilt purified criminal law from sacrificial remnants : a Girardian interpretation

  • In ‘Strafe für fremde Schuld’ Harald Maihold uncovered how a doctrine of surrogate punishment in the legal treatises of the Salamanca school gradually gave way to the principle of guilt. This meant that punishment eventually could only be inflicted upon a culprit and no longer upon an innocent. We will use René Girard’s philosophy of (the disruption of) scapegoat mechanisms and sacrifice to develop a coherent interpretation not only of how this institution of surrogate punishment functioned, how it selected its victims and the way it was legitimated, but also of the theology that formed its background. We argue that most of what surrogate punishment is about can be grasped in two words: sacrificial logic. The elimination of surrogation from criminal law would then correspond to the rejection of this logic, an evolution which could be interpreted as a desacralisation or secularisation of criminal law under the influence of the upcoming principle of guilt.

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Author:Rafael van Damme
Parent Title (German):LOEWE-Schwerpunkt "Außergerichtliche und gerichtliche Konfliktlösung" : Arbeitspapier = LOEWE research focus "Extrajudicial and judicial conflict resolution" : working paper ; 16
Series (Serial Number):LOEWE-Schwerpunkt "Außergerichtliche und gerichtliche Konfliktlösung" : Arbeitspapier = LOEWE research focus "Extrajudicial and judicial conflict resolution" : working paper (16)
Publisher:Max-Planck-Inst. für europäische Rechtsgeschichte
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of Publication (online):2014/03/17
Date of first Publication:2014/03/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/03/17
Tag:Harald Maihold; Opfer; René Girard; Schuldprinzip; Strafe für fremde Schuld; Strafrecht der Frühen Neuzeit; Strafrechtsphilosophie; Straftheologie; Säkularisierung; Sündenbock-Mechanismus
Early modern criminal law; Harald Maihold; Philosophy of criminal law; Principle of guilt; René Girard; Sacrifice; Scapegoat mechanism; Secularisation; Theology of punishment; surrogate punishment
Page Number:43
First Page:1
Last Page:43
Institutes:Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / LOEWE-Schwerpunkt Außergerichtliche und gerichtliche Konfliktlösung
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 10 Philosophie / 100 Philosophie und Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht