Surprised by Evil

Macbeth’s ambition is to murder time itself. He wishes he could perform one act that would bring the end of acting, one final deed. He wants to drop a pebble into a pool without causing ripples. He finds he can’t, and instead each murder just makes it more difficult for him to stop murdering. Continue Reading »

The Moral Universe of Hannibal

A woman lovingly plucks a dead pheasant. A man places a human arm on a cutting board with care, readying his chef’s knife. A woman sinks into a bathtub, seemingly dropping into an abyss. A corpse is lifted on high, framed by wings made of broken glass.All these images (horrific, gorgeous, . . . . Continue Reading »

Germanwings and Evil

In the days since audio was extracted from the black box recorder of crashed Germanwings flight 4U9525 suggesting that copilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately downed the plane, investigators and journalists have rushed to find an explanation for his actions. Continue Reading »

Evil and the Absence of Truth

The book of Genesis does not give an ultimate explanation of the origin of evil, for evil is at its heart not explicable or intelligible, just as darkness is by its nature not visible. It stems not from a positive presence but from an absence, not a reason but a form of unreason: a failure, a lack, . . . . Continue Reading »

Evil: Back in Bad Company

Most Christian thinkers have viewed evil as a privation, a derivative reality, like a shadow. Shadows are privations of light; they are real things, but dependent on the bodies that cast the shadows. They are darkness where light should have been. Similarly evil, a secondary reality, is only the . . . . Continue Reading »