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Forgiveness Work: Forbearance in Iran's Laws of Criminal Sanctioning

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, Dr. Arzoo Osanloo, director of the Middle East Center and associate professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, will give a talk as part of the Strauss Center's Brumley Speaker Series. 

Iran's Laws of Islamic Punishment confer a personal right of retribution to families of victims in murder cases. However, both the substantive criminal code and the code of criminal procedure compel them to forgo their right of retribution and forgive perpetrators. In recent years, these laws have been expanded. Today a veritable cottage industry of people engaging in forgiveness work has emerged throughout the country to urge victims to forgo retribution. Dr. Osanloo's talk will explore this forgiveness work and argue that beyond seeking forbearance in individual cases, forgiveness workers aim for a broader cultural transformation, from a culture of revenge to one of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness, values, they argue, form the basis of their faith.


Dr. Arzoo Osanloo is the director of the Middle East Center and an associate professor in the department of Law, Societies, and Justice at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is a legal anthropologist who examines the intersection between law and society in contemporary Iran. She is the author of The Politics of Women's Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press 2009). Her talk is based on her forthcoming book,Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victim's Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press 2020).

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12:15pm to 1:45pm

Sid Richardson Hall (SRH), SRH 3.122 LBJ School of Public Affairs
2300 RED RIVER ST., Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type

World & Culture

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, General Public

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