Good and Evil

Module Leader:
László Kőszeghy
2019-2020 Autumn
Arts and Humanities

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the philosophical and theological discussion of good and evil, thereby also providing an insight into existentialist thought. First, we will discuss the theological problem of evil – which arises from the question of how God can allow so much evil and suffering in the world – as well as attempts at defending the idea of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God. Then we will turn to an analysis of The Book of Job which, being a thorough theological investigation into the universal theme of unjust human suffering, is often regarded as one of the biblical answers to the problem of evil. After a close reading of the biblical text, we will look at different interpretations thereof, from 19th-century Danish philosopher Kierkegaard to contemporary films such as “A Serious Man”. Finally, we will discuss the moral implications of atheistic, Godless world: can modern moral philosophies have the same normative grounding as divine laws? To find the existentialist answer to this question, we will go “beyond good and evil” by consulting Nietzsche and Simone de Beauvoir.

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