A religious conception of evil
Stephen Clarke (Charles Sturt University)

September 19, 2012, 7:15pm - 8:45pm
Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Prest Theatrette (Rm 115), in Arts West Building
University of Melbourne

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Abstract: Influential philosophical definitions of evil due to Todd Calder, Eve Garrard, Adam Morton and Luke Russell, among others, make no mention of religion, and yet the view that the term 'evil' is a religious one is very widespread. In this paper I locate and defend a distinctively religious definition of evil. It might be thought that, because of differences between the many different religions, there would be a diversity of religious conceptions of evil. However, recent research in the cognitive science of religion suggests that there are very strong similarities in the conceptual commitments made by apparently very distinct religions. On the basis of this research I identify a shared religious conception of evil. This turns out to have much in common with the treatment of evil that falls out of Durkheim's classic analysis of the sacred.

Building location: http://maps.unimelb.edu.au/parkville/building/148

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