This Thing of Darkness

Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness

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Written across the disciplines of art history, literature, philosophy, sociology, and theology, the ten essays comprising the collection all insist on multidimensional definitions of evil.
Taking its title from a moment in Shakespeare’s Tempest when Prospero acknowledges his responsibility for Caliban, this collection explores the necessarily ambivalent relationship between humanity and evil. To what extent are a given society’s definitions of evil self-serving? Which figures are marginalized in the process of identifying evil? How is humanity itself implicated in the production of evil? Is evil itself something fundamentally human? These questions, indicative of the kinds of issues raised in this collection, seem all the more pressing in light of recent world events.
The ten essays were originally presented at the First Global Conference on Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness, held in March 2000 in Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

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Paperback
List of Illustrations Rob FISHER: Editorial Foreword Richard Paul HAMILTON: Preface Acknowledgements ONE Katri LEHTINEN: Twentieth-Century Vampire Literature: Intimations of Evil and Power TWO Salwa GHALY: Evil Encounters with “Others” in Tayeb Salih and Toni Morrison. The Case of Mustafa Saeed and Sula Peace THREE A Visual Theology of Evil and Redemption? Watt’s Eve Trilogy and Burne-Jones’s Altarpiece of The Nativity FOUR David H. FISHER: Or Image of that Horror? Imagining Radical Evil FIVE Richard Paul HAMILTON: Hier ist kein Warum? Evil at the Limits of Understanding SIX Diana MEDLICOTT: Condemned to Artifice and Prevented from Being a Pirate: How Prisoners Convicted the Terrible Crimes Recognize Themselves in Discourse SEVEN Deirdre BURKE: The Apostasy of the Baptized: Christians and the Holocaust EIGHT Sandeep SINGH CHOHAN: The Exorcist: Personification of Human Wickedness or Upholder of Religious Duties? NINE Rob FISHER: Wandering the Heath: Niebuhr and the Need for Realism TEN Jones IRWIN: Prohibition and Transgression – Georges Bataille and the Possibility of Affirming Evil Contributors Index