Ethics and Literature: The Problem of Evil

Schools of Public Engagement: Humanities

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

The Problem of Evil

Fall 2022

Taught By: Terri Gordon

Section: A

CRN: 8791

Credits: 3

In The City of God, Saint Augustine confronts a central problem: How did evil come into the world if human beings were created good? In this course, we explore the question of evil through a study of texts ranging from biblical to modern. With Dostoevsky and Kafka, we travel on the dark side of life, examining crime, transgression, and nightmarish systems. We explore a number of theoretical perspectives, from Augustine’s notion of the "evil will" to Nietzsche’s standpoint "beyond good and evil" to Arendt’s thesis of the "banality of evil." Through our study of the ethical universe of literary texts, we engage with questions essential to humanity, including the nature of human beings, the basis for moral conventions, individual and collective responsibility, goodness versus happiness, and guilt, forgiveness, and redemption.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Humanities (NHUM)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 22

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:16am EST 12/2/2022

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 1:55pm - 3:45pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 518

Date Range: 8/30/2022 - 12/6/2022