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Evil: The History of an Idea

R. Maher

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Course Description

This course considers how individuals and societies have constructed the idea of evil. We examine evil’s origins in religious traditions and review how those interpretations have been deployed and how the concept of evil has changed over time. Is it possible to offer a universal definition of evil? Is it true that “When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil?” Does evil exist in “the Other” or oneself? To answer these questions, we engage in activities and discussion about sin, hell, pacts with the devil, witches, torture, lynching, genocide, psychopaths, empathy, and representations of evil in music, literature, and film.

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