Theology & Philosophy

Dimensions of Evil and its Impact on Liberty


What explains the appalling crimes committed in the name, or in the context, of political goals? Are atrocities like the Holocaust or the Stalinist Terror the result of wicked ideologies that somehow consume otherwise decent people? Or are they the work of a handful of evil men who somehow gain enough power to pursue their vile ends? Using a wide range of theoretical literature and case studies, this conference investigatd these important questions.


Conference Readings

Rorty, Amélie Oksenberg, eds. The Many Faces of Evil: Historical Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. New York: Penguin, 1977.

Berman, Paul. Terror and Liberalism. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2003.

Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Vintage, 1993.

Conquest, Robert. The Great Terror: A Reassessment. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Delblanco, Andrew. The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995.

Dicks, Henry V. Licensed Mass Murder: a socio-psychological study of some SS killers. New York: Basic Book, Inc. Publishers, 1972.

Hassan, Nasra. “An Arsenal of Believers.” New Yorker (November 19, 2001): 36-41.

Hatzfeld, Jean. A Time for Machetes: The Rwandan Genocide: The Killers Speak. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2005.

Hollander, Paul. Discontents: Postmodern and Postcommunist. London: Transaction, 2002.

Kekes, John. The Roots of Evil. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005.

Kolakowski, Leszek. My Correct Views on Everything. South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 2005.

Kuntz, Tom. “From Thought to Deed: In the Mind of a Killer Who Says He Served God.” New York Times (September 24, 1995): 1-2.

Leites, Nathan. A Study of Bolshevism. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1953.

Littell, Jonathan. The Kindly Ones. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.

Milgram, Stanley. “The Compulsion to do Evil.” Patterns of Prejudice (November/December 1967): 3-7.

Savage, Charlie and Scott Shane. “U.S. Arrests Saudi Student in Bomb Plot.” New York Times (February 24, 2011):

Siebert, Charles. “The Animal Cruelty Syndrome.” The New York Times Magazine (June 12, 2010): 44-51.

Staub, Ervin. The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Wolff, Kurt. “For a Sociology of Evil.” Journal of Social Issues (1969): 111-125.

Zimbardo, Philip. “When Good People do Evil.” Yale Alumni Magazine (January/February 2007): 41-47.