The Asian Conference on Literature and Librarianship

Country: Japan

City: Kobe

Abstr. due: 01.12.2015

Dates: 07.04.16 — 10.04.16

Area Of Sciences: Arts; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: IAFOR - The International Academic Forum


The arts are ideally suited to reflect on justice. The various symbolic definitions of justice from the Fasces of ancient Rome to the status of the lady blindfolded and holding a set of scales puts an abstract ideal into a concrete and publicly recognizable form.

The arts can also be an effective device for dealing with some of the other more sinister ideas and practices that relate to justice, crime and punishment. In the past, even in what are now modern open societies barbaric forms of punishment were meted out to those found guilty of violating the law. Dostoyevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment was an exercise of engagement in a painful discussion of the possible moral justification for committing a serious crime for a higher purpose, including ridding the world of a worthless or evil individual whose resources might be put to better use. However, the implication that those who see the greater good may be permitted to act above the law does not sit comfortably with many critics. The plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, although it failed taking lives of the conspirators including the young German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), has never been given a universal moral imprimatur by those who hold a more pacifist outlook. Similarly, literature and the arts can look into the depths in a way that philosophical discussion is restricted to the conceptual level and religious discourse is better suited to symbolic reflections.

Other fields in the humanities are similarly preoccupied with justice: the political act of writing, whether literature or history, involves shaping narratives and contentious issues of meaning, to see truth as justice.

To expand the theme to the media: some modern TV series look into justice issues from a legal point of view, but also probe the psychology of many types of people on both sides of the law. What do these contribute to the better understanding of the complexities of human nature and human emotion exposed in them?

Does justice have a dark side, or is this the outcome of it being manipulated? Questions like these have been with us throughout the ages. Do they exist as boundaries for reflection rather than questions to be answered?

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