Catastrophe: Plowing Up the Ground of Reason
CATASTROPHE: PLOWING UP THE GROUND OF REASON IN LAW AND CATASTROPHE, Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, Martha Umphrey, eds., Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007
20 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2007
This essay discusses whether, as Judith Shklar might argue, catastrophes are better framed as injustices. Rejecting this view, the paper argues for a definition of catastrophes as events that overturn our normative categories themselves. Using the Book of Job as an extended example, the essay argues that our usual responses to catastrophes, denial or nihilism, leave out the possibility of a stance of openness that allows for heroism and grace to appear.
Keywords: catastrophe, injustice, Shklar, Job, grace, 9-11, disaster, nihilism
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation