HDR Candidate: Behnaz Zarrabi

Milestone: Thesis Review

Advisors: Prof Simon Bronitt (Principal) and Dr Saskia Hufnagl (Associate)

Title: The Laws of Exorcism: A Comparative Study of Religiously Motivated Homicide

Abstract: This doctoral research examines cases of religiously motivated homicide, in particular cases of death through the ritual of exorcism in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. One of the important contributions of this research is developing a typology of religious violence and a framework to identify different manifestations of religiously motivated violence. Whilst the general framework of this PhD thesis is legal, the research heavily relies on the social sciences data collection and analysis methods. Through a thematic analysis, this research investigates the interactions between law and the supernatural practices like exorcism. This research examines how the supernatural elements of each case are interpreted through the legal process, as well as how legal concepts (such as consent and intention) are translated in the realm of the supernatural.