For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Daemon in the Sanctuary
The Enigma of Homespace Violence
  • Wendy C. Hamblet
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Daemon in the Sanctuary. The Enigma of Homespace Violence
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"Daemon in the Sanctuary" explores the uncanny contradiction between the phenomenological experience of home as a site of nurture and security and the empirical reality that people are far more likely to be hurt and even killed in their own homes by their intimates, rather than at the hands of strangers.

Moving from the syrupy tributes of the god of love in Plato's "Symposium" to the subject of domestic violence appears to be a giant leap, but he author shows that embroidered romantic ideas about love prepare the initiate poorly for the reality of intimate connection. Poets and philosophers who lead us to believe that love is heaven sent can leave us craving an extreme experience.

We crave an earth-shaking, life-altering intrusion on our tranquility as evidence that love is real. Thus the naive initiate can easily mistake the flutter of the pulse, the quickening of the heart rate, the flush, the confused emotions, and the painful longing as signs of the god's gift. But these are also the signs of fear!


About the Author

Wendy C. Hamblet is a Canadian philosopher, Professor at North Carolina A&T State University, Director of the International Center for Organizational Excellence, and Executive Director of the Concerned Philosophers for Peace.

Dr. Hamblet’s research approaches conflict as the essence of the human condition and investigates the role of identity and difference in positioning people for (more or less) skilled responses to conflict situations. She has two books with Algora Publishing, Daemon in the Sanctuary: The Enigma of Homespace Violence, and Conceiving Evil: A Phenomenology of Perpetration. Her prior books include: "The Sacred Monstrous: A Reflection on Violence in Human Communities" (2004); "Savage Constructions: the Myth of African Savagery" (2008); 'The Lesser Good: the Problem of Justice in Plato and Levinas" (2008); and 'Punishment and Shame: A Philosophical Study" (2011).

Hamblet also serves as a consultant in the international community, developing Anti-Violence programs for schools, corrections reform strategies, and organizational ethics frameworks.

About the Book
Edmund Husserl, oft-named the “Father of Phenomenology,” affirms the prior nature of phenomenological experience, explaining that even the “objective” scientist is first of all a “subject” who derives from subjective experience the data that form...
Edmund Husserl, oft-named the “Father of Phenomenology,” affirms the prior nature of phenomenological experience, explaining that even the “objective” scientist is first of all a “subject” who derives from subjective experience the data that form the building blocks of the edifice of “objective knowledge” Husserl’s argument shook the foundations of philosophy, making nonsense of the clever analytical manipulations that previously constituted philosophical method and spawning a whole new lineage of philosophical inquiry for the understanding of truth as the “lived experience” of human subjects.

In “Daemon in the Sanctuary”, Wendy C. Hamblet, herself a philosopher in the phenomenological lineage, wonders about the truth value of phenomenological experience, through the lens of the problem of intimate violence. If Husserl is right and phenomenological method provides the ground of all empirical truth, then what is to be made of the fundamental contradiction between the lived experience of home as a site of nurture and security and of intimates as guardians and caretakers, and the empirical fact, evident in every human society, that people are far more likely to be harmed, and even killed, in their homes or in the homes of their intimates and at the hands of those charged with their care.

Hamblet carefully choreographs a dance between the two opposing “truths” to expose how the lived sense of home, colored by ideals, can tint people’s expectations about intimate connection and cloud their ability to recognize the signs of intimate abuse. This book illuminates the dangers and pitfalls of unhealthy intimacy and offers a regimen for loosening the grip of a sickened love’s pathological hold.


Table of Contents
Chapter One. Dinner with the Daemon 5 Chapter Two. The God Falls from the Heavens 19 Chapter Three. The Ambiguous Roots of Homespace Love 24Chapter Four. The Ambiguous Logic of the H
Chapter One. Dinner with the Daemon 5
Chapter Two. The God Falls from the Heavens 19
Chapter Three. The Ambiguous Roots of Homespace Love 24
Chapter Four. The Ambiguous Logic of the Homespace 31
Chapter Five. The Nature of Homespace Violence 43
Chapter Six. The Nurture of Homespace Violence 57
The Ritual of the Hunt 65
The Ritual of the Scapegoat Murder 71
The Ritual of Rebounding Violence 76
Chapter Seven. Phenomenal Truth versus Systemic Reality 86
Chapter Eight. Systems within Violent Systems 110
Conflict Theory in a Nutshell 115
Conflicted Social Realities 116
Industrial Societies 116
Simple Communal Societies 121
The Models Bleed Together 123
Chapter Nine. The Shame of Homely Violence 129
Chapter Ten. What’s Eros Got to Do with It? 138
Chapter Eleven. What’s Shame Got to Do with It? 149
Chapter Twelve. Philosophical Treatments for the Sickly Daemon 157
Chapter Thirteen. The Psychotherapist’s Daemon 169
Chapter Fourteen. Healing the Sickly Daemon 172
Chapter Fifteen. Resituating the Daemonic Medium 191 Selected Bibliography 201
More . . .
Is it possible that those victims of intimate violence who baffle their family, friends, public protectors, and therapists by returning again and again to the arms of their abuser cannot disentangle the love from the terror, the myth from the reality, the god’s gift from the daemonic actuality of their sickened attachment?

Perhaps this is the underlying suspicion that causes Plato to place in the mouth of the only non-poetic symposiast, the doctor Eryximachus, a discourse which proposes...

Is it possible that those victims of intimate violence who baffle their family, friends, public protectors, and therapists by returning again and again to the arms of their abuser cannot disentangle the love from the terror, the myth from the reality, the god’s gift from the daemonic actuality of their sickened attachment?

Perhaps this is the underlying suspicion that causes Plato to place in the mouth of the only non-poetic symposiast, the doctor Eryximachus, a discourse which proposes that love assumes contrary forms; it can be sacred or profane, healthy or sick.

The effects of love can be either ruinous or blissful, depending on whether the lovers follow the “fair and heavenly” goddess or the base earthly Aphrodite, “Muse of many songs.” It is significant that it is Eryximachus who suggests from the outset of the symposium that the symposiasts “dispense with the services of the flute girl” and drink sensibly of the wine.

There is great mystery in the delicate and elusive connection between love and justice; it resides in the subtle but relentless way that our loves, those things or people we most value, position us for conduct in the world. Love paints our view of others with the broad strokes of our own desires, causing us to locate in those who are beloved a perfection, a divinity. Loved ones can appear to us as incapable of wrongdoing. and the integrity of our connection with loved ones can appear invulnerable to time’s “bending sickle,” a myth confirmed in Shakespeare’s most famed love sonnet. Love tints our view of intimates; it purifies and sanctifies their failings and it divinizes their virtues. Love also colors our view of ourselves. Where we feel our love accepted and returned, our self-esteem soars to parallel height with our inflated estimation of the beloved; if I am so worthy to be loved by this god, I am worthy indeed above others.

On the other hand, unreciprocated love can have devastating effects upon the unrequited lover; rejection by the ones we hold most dear can bring shame, agony, and existential ruin. Studies of perpetrators of violent and heinous crimes reveal without fail common histories of neglect and abuse, often occurring in childhood and at the hands of those very loved ones whom nature has stationed to be their protectors and nurturers. Similarly, our loves—our “homegroup”—can situate us to find unloved others—outsiders to the homegroup—as wanting in value and appeal. Strangers and outsiders to the homegroup cannot help but pale in worth beside those to whom we are connected through ties of love. Indeed love can position people to find in those unloved others, outside the sacred circle of their (largely imaginary) commonalities and their (often imaginary) loyalties, the radical other of divinity—the valueless, the undesirable, the monstrous “stranger,” paradigmatic figure of the justly feared unknown. Love so colors our vision of the world and configures our understanding of self and others that it can drive us to the point of violent atrocity to protect those who “belong” in our inner, intimate circle of loved ones and to reject those other coarser, baser beings who threaten to contaminate that sacred circle. The mysterious connection between love and justice lies hidden between the lines of Plato’s famed dialogue.


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Pages 220
Year: 2013
BISAC: SOC051000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-036-7
Price: USD 19.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-037-4
Price: USD 29.95
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ISBN: 978-1-62894-038-1
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