Perspectives on Evil


Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness is a wide ranging project which seeks to explore issues connected with evil, suffering, pain and the consequences of human actions. It recognises that even the language of ‘evil’ is a problem, and attempts to find ways of beginning to make sense of human wickedness.

Key themes that are central to the project include;

  • the language of evil
  • the nature and sources of evil and human wickedness
  • moral intuitions about dreadful crimes
  • psychopathic behaviour; is a person mad or bad?
  • choice, responsibility, and diminished responsibility
  • social and cultural reactions to evil and human wickedness
  • the portrayal of evil and human wickedness in the media and popular culture
  • suffering in literature and film
  • individual acts of evil, group violence, holocaust and genocide; obligations of bystanders
  • terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing
  • the search for meaning and sense in evil and human wickedness
  • the nature and tasks of theodicy
  • religious understandings of evil and human wickedness
  • postmodern approaches to evil and human wickedness
  • ecocriticism, evil and suffering
  • evil and the use/abuse of technology; evil in cyberspace

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.