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The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics (Scripture) [Paperback]

By Joseph F. Kelly (Author)
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Item description for The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics (Scripture) by Joseph F. Kelly...

While others have contributed tomes and volumes on the history of Evil, Kelly covers much ground in much fewer pages. An ample bibliography will direct the curious to more in depth study, while readers who prefer a lighter treatment (albeit a meticulously researched and well-written one) will experience a wealth of information packed between these covers. Delineating between "Evil" and "evils", the author starts the tour in the Book of Job and follows literary, religious and philosophical strands through to the biotech ambiguities of the early 21st century. He draws a picture of how the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia viewed Evil by examining myths similar to biblical texts along with biblical references to Satan. And, by gleaning from both Christian and non-religious writings, he shows how these have formed the idea of Evil in the collective conscience. The final chapters illuminate modern theories and approaches to Evil, and the book culminates with the author's own reflection on what he believes Evil to be.

Publishers Description

The question of evil presents a profound challenge to humanity - why do we do what we know to be wrong? This is especially a challenge to religious believers. Why doesn't an al-good and omnipotent God step in and put an end to evil? "The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition" examines how Western thinkers have dealt with the problem of evil, starting in ancient Israel and tracing the question through post-biblical Judaism, Early Christianity (especially in Africa), the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and to the twenty-first century when science has raised new and important issues.

Joseph Kelly covers the book of Job, the book of Revelation, Augustine of Hippo, Aquinas, Luther, Maslow, Milton, Voltaire, Hume, Mary Shelley, Darwin, Jung, Flannery O'Connor, Karl Rahner, Teilhard de Chardin, and modern geneticists.

Chapters are Some Perspectives on Evil," *Israel and Evil, - *The New Adam, - *Out of Africa, - *The Broken Cosmos, - *The Middle Ages, - *Decline and Reform of Humanism, - *The Devil's Last Stand, - *Rationalizing Evil, - *The Attack on Christianity, - *Dissident Voices, - *Human Evil in the Nineteenth Century, - *Science, Evil, and Original Sin, - *Modern Literary Approaches to Evil, - *Some Scientific Theories of Evil, - and *Modern Religious Approaches to Evil. -

"Joseph F. Kelly, Ph.D., is professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of "The World of the Early Christians, " published by The Liturgical Press.""

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics (Scripture) by Joseph F. Kelly has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Library Journal - 03/01/2002 page 108

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Liturgical Press
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 21, 2004
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814651046  
ISBN13  9780814651049  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joseph F. Kelly

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, is professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. His books include "The Feast of Christmas, The Origins of Christmas, The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church", and others, all published by Liturgical Press.

Joseph F. Kelly currently resides in the state of Ohio. Joseph F. Kelly was born in 1945.

Joseph F. Kelly has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Message of the Fathers of the Church

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Good & Evil
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics (Scripture)?

Helpful survey of the history of a difficult topic  Jun 21, 2007
Well researched yet very readable -- looks at developments in theology, philosophy and literature in each period of intellectual history, analyzing the ways different authors did or did not attempt to reconcile the existence (or apparent existence) of evil in the world with the classical theist concept of the omnipotent, omnibenevolent God. While the book draws on a variety of sources, each chapter goes into greater depth on two or three works or thinkers who either exemplify or stand in contrast to a particular tradition: excursi on the Marquis de Sade, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," and Dostoyevski's "The Brothers Karamazov" are particularly compelling.

A potential weakness of this strategy is the illusion of a single thread of development, or of successive schools of thought that each characterize a particular time period. Kelly addresses this by the use of contrasting voices within each time period, and by highlighting the recurrence of particular themes or emphases across time.

I read this book in a seminary-level course, but think it could be enjoyed by anyone with a little background in western intellectual history. It avoids jargon, and explains technical terms when they are necessary.

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