Giving an Account of Evil: 2017 Societas Ethica Annual Conference

August 24, 2017 - August 27, 2017
European Society for Research in Ethics, Societas Ethica


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David Gushee
Marcel Henaff
Maureen Junker-Kenny
Antje Kapust


Hille Haker
Loyola University, Chicago
Silas Morgan

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Philosophers and theologians have reflected upon the ‘problem of evil’ throughout history. Explanations of the very term and the origins of evil and the ways evil is expressed remain contested. This conference invites scholars of moral philosophy and theological ethics to address this complex theme both as an ethical category and in concrete contexts. 

More than seven decades after World War II ended, it is impossible to ethically address evil without engaging the shadow of the Shoah, which has radically changed the understanding of the scope of intentionally-inflicted harm and violence. Today, analyses of evil mostly depart from theological explanations and turn to the humanities. Concrete studies include multiple examinations of the phenomenology of violence, and the psychology and philosophy of trauma and its ethical implications. Furthermore, they include the examination of different faces of structural violence, the impact of colonialism on racism and the rise of neocolonialism, the re-emergence and attractiveness of nationalist and authoritarian views, and modern forms of slavery, organized crime and human trafficking. 

At our meeting, we want to structural a balance between conceptual analyses from within the theological and philosophical traditions on the one hand, and historical and/or contemporary presentations, grappling with how we can – and indeed must – give an account of evil in today’s world.

As we meet in Greece, it is impossible to engage the theme of evil without also grappling with the issues of human migration, economic inequality, and evolving interpretations of our European histories. Whether and how we bring these histories into conversation with present events may well determine our understanding of – and ultimately, our responses to – the evil we encounter today.

We expect contributions from philosophy, theology, and applied ethics, but also from critical political theory, history, and related disciplines.

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August 1, 2017, 5:00am EET

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#Evil, #Ethics, #Philosophy, #Theology, #Religion, #Politics, #