Destined for Evil?

Destined for Evil?

The Twentieth-Century Responses

Edited by Predrag Cicovacki

This collection of 15 essays on various aspects of the problem of evil brings together the opinions of well known authors from various disciplines [philosophy, theology, literary criticism, political science, etc].
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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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Anatomy of Evil - Predrag Cicovacki
Two Thousand Years and No New God - Gil Bailie
Identifying Good and Evil - Nicholas Wolterstorff
Kant and Radical Evil - Emil L. Fackenheim
Uprooting Evil and the Building of Ethical Communities - Sharon Anderson Gold
The Reality of Radical Evil - Jeffrey B. Russell
Roads to Hell - Susan Neiman
The Banality of Evil: Failing to Think - Hannah Arendt
Ordinary People and Extraordinary Vices - Tzvetan Todorov
Are Wars Inevitable? (this chapter has two authors) - Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud
From Relative to Absolute Evil - Svetozar Stojanovic
Killing in Vietnam: What Have We Done to Our Soldiers - Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Thou Shalt Not Kill - Hermann Hesse
Searching for Self-Knowledge and Divine Wholeness - Carl Gustav Jung
Love and Cruelty: A Blue Spot in the Middle of the Hurricane - Philip Paul Hallie
Goodness at the Heart of Being - Michael Lerner
We Are Prodigals in a Distant Land: An Essay on Thomas Merton - John P. Collins
Recovering Paradise: Thomas Merton on the Self and the Problem of Evil - Thomas Del Prete
Exposing the Deceitful Heart: A Monk's Public "Inner Work" - Jonathan Montaldo
Lamentations and Losses: From New York to Kabul - Daniel Berrigan S.J.
Evil as Mystery: Primal Speech and Contemporary Poetry - Michael True
The Trial of Man and The Trial of God: Job and Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor - Predrag Cicovacki
The Resurrection of Hell - Leo Tolstoy
The Gulag Archipelago (A Fragment) - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Helen's Exile - Albert Camus


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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