Gil Anidjar, Professor, Department of Religion & Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University

The notion of a 'founding murder' seems strange enough, yet it is a common enough motif. What is even more interesting is that -- contra Freud -- the ancient Greek and Hebrew stories posit a fratricide, rather than a patricide at the origin. I want to explore these two answers -- for it's all in the family, or so it seems -- to the question of murder. If time permits, I shall proceed to reflect on kinship and politics -- or kinship and violence, if there is a difference -- in the Western tradition.