Maimonides’ proposed solution to the problem of evil is characteristic of his philosophy as found in The Guide for the Perplexed , as it requires a ‘substantive shift in Jewish religious consciousness’. 1 In assessing whether Maimonides’ solution
Radical Evil, Radical Hope
The world is facing a multitude of interconnected issues, leading to avoidable starvation, poverty and death for hundreds of millions. Is Arendt's concept of the 'banality of evil', which she adopted in preference to Kant's 'radical evil', applicable here? Are we bystanders, addicted to 'growth'? The paper considers the central role of thinking and, with the help of Greek myth and Nietzsche, the relationship between evil and hope. Finally, there is an emerging concept of 'radical hope'. What is this, could it be of help and how would it connect with Judaism's teachings of the Messiah?
Evil and Suffering from a Durkheimian Perspective
After the End of a Dark Century: Philosophical and Theological Discourses on Evil, complex, highly interesting and full of religious, philosophical and existential implications. One has to hope that the theological and philosophical reflection on evil and suffering will also continue in a post-metaphysical world, even if this hope is part of an ongoing debate. As fascinating as these questions may be, I will not address any of the classical, philosophical and/or theological problems on evil in this paper. Rather than concentrating on this kind of approach to evil, I would like to try and offer a different way of dealing with a subject, which has long been neglected in the sociological field, and is almost absent among Durkheimian studies too. In other words, I would like to approach the problem of evil from a point of view similar to Durkheim?s sociology of religion. However, I will keep the modern philosophical turn in the theological discussion on evil as a background, since one of my objectives is to try and isolate the specific and distinctive characteristics of a Durkheimian idea of evil in the light of the modern transition from suffering to evil.
early rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity. Every time that R. Hiyya bar Ashi fell on his face [in supplication; see below] he would say: ‘Merciful One [= ha-Rahaman , God], 1 rescue us from the Evil Urge [= sexual desire]’. One day, his wife heard
Counterterrorism, techno-science, and the cultural reproduction of security
Mark Maguire and Pete Fussey
portrayed themselves as the ones “watching the walls” and “protecting you while you sleep.” At other times, they spoke of the “evil” they were trained to combat. Such framings of security and of participants’ roles in maintaining it were common. These
At the close of the Second World War and in the years following, two key figures of modern French thought, Jean-Paul Sartre and Georges Bataille, became engaged in a debate concerning the status of literature. At stake in their argument was both a conception of the mode of being of the literary work of art and a projection of the purpose or end to which literature should be assigned.
John H. Gillespie
These two articles examine whether Sartre's final interviews, recorded in L'Espoir maintenant (Hope Now) indicate a final turn to God and religious belief through an overview of his engagement with the idea of God throughout his career. Part 1, published in Sartre Studies International 19, no. 1, examined Sartre's early atheism, but noted the pervasive nature of secularised Christian metaphors and concepts in his religion of letters and also the centrality of mankind's desire to be God in L'Etre et le néant (Being and Nothingness). Sartre's theoretical writings sought to refute the idea of God, but in doing so, made God paradoxically both absent and present. Part 2 considers Sartre's anti-theism and its implications for his involvement with the idea of God before examining in detail his final encounter with theism as outlined in L'Espoir maintenant, arguing that it is part of Sartre's long-term engagement with the divine, but refuting the idea that he became a theist at the end of his life.
This article attempts to redress the neglect of Sartre's relationship to Augustine, putting forward a reading of the early Sartre as an atheist who appropriated concepts from Augustinian theology. In particular, it is argued, Sartre owes a debt to the Augustinian doctrine of original sin. Sartre's portrait of human reality in Being and Nothingness is bleak: consciousness is lack; self-knowledge is impossible; and to turn to the human other is to face the imprisonment of an objectifying gaze. But this has recognizable antecedents in Augustine's account of the condition of human fallenness. The article, therefore, (a) demonstrates the significant similarities between Sartre's ontology of human freedom and Augustine's ontology of human sin; and (b) asks whether Sartre's project – as defined in Existentialism Is a Humanism – 'to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position' – results in a vision of the world without God, but not without sin. It is proposed that this opens the possibility for a previously unexplored theological reading of Sartre's early work.
Eric Michaud, Un Art de L’Éternité: L’image et le temps du national-socialisme (Paris: Gallimard, 1996).
Omer Bartov, Murder in Our Midst: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing and Representation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).
Michael Wildt, Vom kleinen Wohlstand: Eine Konsumgeschichte der fünfziger Jahre (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1996).
Jason Dean and Geoffrey Raynor
George Lucas’s popular film series Star Wars depicts an epic galactic battle between good and evil. A basic premise of the story is that the universe is penetrated with “the force,” which has a light and dark side. In these films, the good