This book takes its contents from the Complutense University of Madrid summer course of the same name held between July 24 and 28, 2006.
The reasons for evil and the suffering we see around us continue to obsess us today as they did in the past. But what is truly shocking in the modern world is the visibility of evil and the timidity of our response. Images of horror have never been so widely disseminated, yet our theoretical stance when confronted with such evidence has never been so weak. The 20th century brought the scourges of two world wars, totalitarian regimes of the right and left, Hiroshima, the Gulag, Auschwitz and Cambodia, and the list has never ceased to lengthen. It seems we lack a discourse that is deep, rich and subtle enough to capture our experience.
In its stead, it has been left to religious or idealogical fundamentalisms to adopt a rhetoric of evil, identifying the enemy as a kind of cancer that must be extirpated. This book reviews the different approaches and responses to the question of evil in our own cultural tradition.