The Conundrum of Evil

From the January 2003 Print Edition

Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy by Susan Neiman Princeton University Press, 358 pages, $29.95 René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, begins his Meditations (1641) on the self and its place in the world by supposing that a demon, no less powerful than God, . . . . Continue Reading »

Hating Hitler

From the February 1999 Print Edition

The Hitler of History by John Lukacs Knopf, 279 pages, $26 Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum Random House, 427 pages, $30 In September 1948, Irving Kristol surveyed the current literature on Hitler and the Nazis in the pages of Commentary . He called this . . . . Continue Reading »

Patterns of Unorthodoxy

From the May 1998 Print Edition

American Originals By Paul K. Conkin University of North Carolina Press. 336 pp. $18.95 In a sermon to the shareholders of the Virginia Company in 1622, John Donne, poet and Dean of St. Paul’s, discerned a divine purpose in the Company’s desire to settle the American wilderness: “You . . . . Continue Reading »

The Death of Satan

From the May 1996 Print Edition

The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil By Andrew Delbanco Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 274 pages, $23 Andrew Delbanco, Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, is a secular liberal with a very bad conscience. While he has not lost his faith in the secular creed, he . . . . Continue Reading »

The Accursed One

From the June/July 1995 Print Edition

Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil. By Bernard McGinn Harper Collins 369 pp. $32.50 You have heard,” writes St. John in his epistles, “that Antichrist is coming, so now many Antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.” Who is . . . . Continue Reading »

A Primer on the Devil

From the January 1993 Print Edition

As modern religionists, we face a curious predicament when we think of the Devil. On the one hand, we know that the forests and glens of Western culture have been cleared of the spirits and goblins that frightened our ancestors. When we are sick, we take a pill. When we are scared by some . . . . Continue Reading »