Sources of Shame, Images of Home

In Melissa Schwartzberg & Eric Beerbohm (eds.), Reconciliation and Repair: NOMOS LXV. New York, NY, USA: New York University Press (forthcoming)
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In “Reconciliation as Non-Alienation: The Politics of Being at Home in the World,” Catherine Lu develops a novel account of reconciliation. Put briefly, she claims that reconciliation aims to address agents’ alienation from the unjust social institutions and practices that structure their lives; it aims, in other words, to enable these agents to be at home in their social worlds. In these comments, I present two kinds of challenges that Lu’s account faces. Both challenges have their source in forms of shame and fear that are apt to discourage socially privileged agents from participating in the process of reconciliation that Lu describes. My hope is that thinking through responses to the challenges that I discuss will deepen our understanding of the grounds for engaging in reconciliation at all, the relation between our ideals of reconciliation and our ideals of justice, and the burdens that may be associated with the pursuit of these ideals.
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