288 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626160101 (1626160104)
Moral Traditions series
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Table of Contents
Andrew Michael Flescher
The idea of moral evil has always held a special place in philosophy and theology because the existence of evil has implications for the dignity of the human and the limits of human action. Andrew Michael Flescher proposes four interpretations of evil, drawing on philosophical and theological sources and using them to trace through history the moral traditions that are associated with them.
Andrew Michael Flescher is a member of the Core Faculty, Program in Public Health,associate professor of Preventive Medicine, and associate professor of English at Stony Brook University. He is the author of Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality.
James F. Keenan, SJ, Series Editor
"While fully recognizing the sometimes horrifying nature of human existence, it is a book of measured hope."—Chico Enterprise-Record
"Delivers a compelling set of plausible theories of why bad things happen to good people. This research makes a considerable contribution to studies in Philosophy, Sociology, and Religion."—Diana Fordham, Association for Mormon Letters
"A probing study of moral evil (and natural evil, too, such as a devastating tsunami) is brilliantly clear and mostly jargon free, well worth pondering."—Dan Barnett, Chico Enterprise-Record
"In this very important and penetrating study, Flescher explores the resources for thinking about evil in a manner conducive to human flourishing. Weaving together sources ranging from Aristotle and Augustine to contemporary fiction and films, from Leibniz to Levinas, Flescher offers a subtle and incisive analysis of evil that is compelling, insightful, and ultimately calls us to cultivate those virtues that alone can protect us from the force of evil in human life."—Louis E. Newman, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies, Carleton College
"What is moral evil, and why do people so often fall into its clutches? Flescher's analysis is penetrating and ethically unflinching. At the same time, it reflects great compassion. This book ought to be read by everyone who longs for goodness and is pained by its absence."—Diana Fritz Cates, professor and chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of Iowa
"This book develops the comprehensive claim that all existing explanations of evil fall somewhere within the scope of four basic models, thereby cultivating a descriptive/analytic typology of ways that evil can be and has been understood. The conclusion to the book makes a superb contribution by developing a connection between the author's favorite model—Augustinian privation and Aristotelian virtue ethics—a worthy contribution to the field of ethics."—Dale S. Wright, Gamble Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, Occidental College
Table of Contents
Introduction: "Evil" And Evil
1. Evil versus Goodness: Satan and Other "Evildoers"
2. Evil as The Good in Disguise: Theodicy and the Crisis of Meaning
3. Evil as "Evil": Perspectivalism and the Construction of Evil
4. Evil as the Absence of Goodness: Privation and the Ubiquity of Wickedness
5. Evil as Inaction: Augustine, Aristotle, and Connecting the Thesis of Privation to Virtue Ethics