Religion: Looking Evil in the Eye

Is the subject still a worthwhile one for theologians?

Modern liberal theologians have forgotten the problem of evil," says University of Chicago Philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Is that true, even in the aftermath of a horror like Jonestown? Remarks Yale Divinity School's Barbara Hargrove, "in other ages, what happened to Jim Jones would have been referred to very clearly as coming under the influence of evil forces—'the devil got in him.' But I haven't heard any people using that kind of language."

To be sure, traditionalist Catholics and Evangelical Protestants still talk of individual evil, original sin, even of the devil and demons—and did...

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