Entangled Responsibility

The Entangled Responsibility project examines the sexual abuse by Jesuits associated with Loyola University Chicago and conceptualizes the different dimensions of ethical responsibility, first within asymmetrical (mentoring and or pastoral/spiritual) relationships, but also within the institution of the university. The project deepens the understanding of responsibility in two ways: first, it proposes a social-ethical virtue ethics resting upon the principles of freedom, well-being, and mutual recognition as an alternative to a virtue ethics oriented by authority and obedience. Second, the social-ethical understanding of responsibility illuminates the phenomena of indirect responsibility and responsibility by implication. That is, the project proposes to develop the concept of “entangled responsibility” to describe how institutions are “entangled in history” (W. Schapp), implicated in different ways, indirectly, yet institutionally.

The concept of “entangled responsibility” will be employed not only to analyze the failure of the Jesuit provinces to respond adequately to the sexual abuse crisis but also the failure of Jesuit universities to respond appropriately to the incidents of sexual abuse that took place in their midst. The project therefore aims to begin a broader inquiry into institutional entanglement with harm, often harm of the past, and structural or institutional failures of responsibility. The project will lay the groundwork for further research, coursework, and communal practices of remembrance as part of the entangled responsibility regarding the sexual abuse.

Please note: We are aware that we currently only highlight perpetrators of clerical sexual abuse. It is our goal to include the voices of victim-survivors of such abuse. If you are a victim-survivor of clerical sexual abuse, and wish to talk to us, please email Hille Haker.