Destined for Evil?: The Twentieth Century Response

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This collection brings together a variety of responses to the ancient questions of whether we are -- individually and collectively -- destined for evil. The history of the previous century brought this question into the open more poignantly than perhaps any other before it. Not surprisingly, then, what you will find here is a wide spectrum of opinions concerning the mystery of evil formulated throughout the twentieth century and at the very threshold of the twenty-first, which has inherited all of its open wounds...
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Overview

This collection brings together a variety of responses to the ancient questions of whether we are -- individually and collectively -- destined for evil. The history of the previous century brought this question into the open more poignantly than perhaps any other before it. Not surprisingly, then, what you will find here is a wide spectrum of opinions concerning the mystery of evil formulated throughout the twentieth century and at the very threshold of the twenty-first, which has inherited all of its open wounds and nightmarish memories. The pieces included here come from diverse fields: philosophy, religious studies, psychology, history, political science, and art; they also assume a variety of forms: essays, treatises, stories, correspondence, and interviews. The reader should not expect that the pieces collected here offer proven recipes of how to eliminate evil from the world: rather, they present a compelling testimony of human struggles with an aspect of our lives we cannot afford to ignore. Contributors: Sharon Anderson-Gold, Hannah Arendt, Gil Bailie, Daniel Berrigan, Albert Camus, John P. Collins, Thomas Del Prete, Albert Einstein, Emil Fackenheim, Sigmund Freud, Philip Paul Hallie, Carl Gustav Jung, Michael Lerner, John Montaldo, Susan Neiman, Jeffrey Burton Russell, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Tzvetan Todorov, Leo Tolstoy, Michael True, Nicholas Wolterstorff Predrag Cicovacki is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, where he served as director of Peace and Conflict Studies and editor-in-chief of Diotima: A Philosophical Review. His publications include Anamorphosis: Kant on Knowledge and Ignorance (1997), Between Truth and Illusion: Kant at the Crossroads of Modernity/ (2002), Essays by Lewis White Beck: Fifty Years as a Philosopher (1998), and Kant's Legacy: Essays in Honor of Lewis White Beck (2001).
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Editorial Reviews

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A rich and diverse exploration of the many dimensions of evil in the modern world, including the moral, religious, social and political. An important contribution to understanding the problems ahead in the 21st century. --Robert L. Holmes, Professor of Philosophy, University of Rochester Destined for Evil? is a profoundly hopeful book that explores the origins and grizzly manifestations of evil among us. It invites readers to counter cycles of evil, injustice, and violence that are often draped in an aura of religious legitimacy while threatening our survival. Destined for Evil? is an indispensable resource for people of faith willing to search the depths of divine mystery looking for clues to our human capacity for both evil and compassion. --Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is Assistant Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas and the author of Jesus against Christianity and Saving Christianity from Empire.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580461764
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/27/2005
  • Series: Rochester Studies in Philosophy , #9
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : the anatomy of evil 1
1 Two thousand years and no new God 19
2 Identifying good and evil 45
3 Kant and radical evil 59
4 Uprooting evil and the building of ethical communities 75
5 The reality of radical evil 81
6 Roads to hell 91
7 The banality of evil : failing to think 113
8 Ordinary people and extraordinary vices 119
9 Are wars inevitable? 133
10 From relative to absolute evil 147
11 Killing in Vietnam : what have we done to our soldiers? 155
12 Thou shalt not kill 165
13 Searching for self-knowledge and divine wholeness 171
14 Love and cruelty : a blue spot in the middle of the hurricane 177
15 Goodness at the heart of being 183
16 We are prodigals in a distant land : an essay on Thomas Merton 197
17 Recovering paradise : Thomas Merton on the self and the problem of evil 205
18 Exposing the deceitful heart : a monk's public "inner work" 213
19 Lamentations and losses : from New York to Kabul 223
20 Evil as mystery : primal speech and contemporary poetry 241
21 The trial of man and the trial of God : Job and Dostoevsky's grand inquisitor 249
22 The resurrection of hell 261
23 The gulag archipelago (a fragment) 273
24 Helen's exile 277
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