Most annotated bibliographies begin by noting how vast the literature on a certain subject is and how impossible it would be to present to eager readers a complete picture of the literature available. What is unusual is to claim that this vast array of books falls into fairly discrete subcategories. And yet, this is, to some extent, the case with books on evil. Disciplinary approaches divide the study of evil by the ways in which they define or explain it. Legal studies take on evil as crime. Psychological studies of evil focus on the individuals who have committed evil deeds. Theological approaches deal with evil as sin. Philosophical works take up evil as a problem about whether or not, and how, there can be an all-good, all-powerful God given the extent and kinds of evil in the world today. For the sociologist, evil is studied as, in part or wholly, a result of the social forces at work shaping and misshaping individuals and institutions. History books narrate particular events deemed evil. In every case, though, the subject of evil is seen as intricately connected to the most important questions we face as humans, living our lives and living our lives together. Listed below are several categories of books on evil, each with representative selections. The list of categories is not exhaustive but should give the reader a sense of the map of “evil studies” and a way to navigate through it in light of the specific interests she or he might have.

Classics in the Study of Evil Certain works are cited again and again in writings on evil. These works span numerous centuries, geographical areas, and writing genres; their authors include Christian theologians, atheist philoso-


1992. 1960. Fyodor. Emerson Buchanan. Russian novelists. J. Theodore M. 1961. Henry Bettenson. A. 1984. e. and God? ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Aquinas. The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts. Augustine. Immanuel. Hume. Paul. Kant. Dostoyevsky. F. James Strachey. Trans. New York: Penguin. Friedrich. 1966. Richard Peaver and Larissa Volokhonsky. Sigmund. Walter Kaufmann. Sheed. Trans. the following books 101 . the good. Revised and Enlarged Edition. New York: Harper & Row. Civilization and Its Discontents. 1967. Indianapolis: Hackett. or a force at work in the world and in the wills of humans? Is evil the distortion of good or the lack of a measure of goodness? Is evil a radical choice or a banal thought-less-ness? Is God responsible for evil or are humans? How do humans conceive of evil and how does that relate to their understandings of human nature. Is evil a person. The City of God. Boston: Beacon. Trans. New York: Random House. 1993. The Psychology of the Evil Individual While some books focus on the social conditions that foster violence. Satan. On Evil. What they have in common is a deep grappling with the nature of evil. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. Ricoeur. Arendt. David. C. Jewish intellectuals. Trans. Jean Oesterle. Thomas. —————. Beyond Good and Evil. Trans. New York: Viking. or misshape societies. Trans. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hannah. Trans. New York: Vintage. New York: Norton. J. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Ed. Gaskin. Principal Writings on Religion. The Symbolism of Evil. 1991. Hudson. Nietzsche. Confessions.RESEARCH ON EVIL: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY phers. 1965. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. Freud. Trans.g. Greene and Hoyt H. propel injustice. 1995..

and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence. 1995. second. 1997.g. Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty. Diamond). Jung on Evil.g. C. 1996. 1996. its tendency to ignore the larger social forces at work in shaping moral development and understandings of evil. Scott.. New York: Penguin. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Albany: State University of New York Press. discussions of how individuals conceive of evil. or those who have had experiences of evil (e.. Fred. acts so bad as to merit the appellation “evil. Baumeister. Ed. 102 .” These psychologically oriented books take the forms of interviews.g. Princeton: Princeton University Press. with the executors of evil (e. New York: Simon & Schuster. Jung). meditations on the motivations for committing evil deeds (e. Two limitations of this approach. are. first. Madness. Murray Stein. What Evil Means to Us.g. Roy F. Anger. Carl. Speaking with the Devil: Exploring Senseless Acts of Evil. and.THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW / SUMMER 00 focus either on the inner workings of individuals who have committed horrendous crimes. Stephen A.. 1997. we will learn something about how to prevent or reduce its occurrence. One assumption and hope of many of these works is that by studying the psychology of individuals who commit evil. Goldberg).g. Peck. Goldberg. Peck). 1983. Jung. Alford).. The strength of this approach is its ability to show us the complexities of evil: how varied its motivations are. M.” or on individuals’ understandings of evil and how they come to see something as “evil. its temptation to reduce evil to biochemistry or unhappy life experiences and in the process to eclipse the agency involved in acts of evil. write-ups of findings of psychological studies and/or case studies from clinical practices (e. Evil. how evil often breeds itself in its victims. what form it takes in their imaginations or in their lives (e. which moves from the inside out. People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Alford.. C. their victims. Diamond. how powerfully destructive one individual can be. G. and Creativity. New York: Freeman.

Craig Comstock. Like the psychologist. 1963. 1996. Oppenheimer. Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior. Boston: Little. Fred E. Albany: State University of New York Press. eds. 103 . Pillsbury. particularly since the evils that result from corrupt social structures have a much greater capacity for destruction than does a single individual. the sociologist may err in eclipsing the agency of evil doers. But when they do. Nevertheless. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Hibbert. such that the individuals and communities within them will be morally bound to each other in constructive ways. Edwin M. but not because she reduces evil acts to biochemistry or certain life experiences. The Roots of Evil: A Social History of Crime and Punishment. The health of society is at issue in these social problems. but rather because she may find the partial explanation of social causes to be sufficient explanation for why an individual does what he does. 1971. San Francisco: JosseyBass. New York: New York University Press. and Associates. their focus is often on the social conditions that are conducive to widespread violence and crime. 1988.RESEARCH ON EVIL: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Evil as a Social Problem Sociologists are unlikely to use the word “evil” in their discussions of social life. Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A Report on the Beguilings of Evil. Nevitt. Christopher. Sanctions for Evil: Sources of Social Destructiveness. Brown. New York: New York University Press. Katz. Paul. New York: Basic. 1997. Samuel H. Seductions of Crime: The Moral and Sensual Attraction of Doing Evil. Katz. Lemert. The onus for resisting evil is placed on transforming social institutions and conditions. Sanford. The Trouble With Evil: Social Control at the Edge of Morality. 1998. 1993. Albany: State University of New York Press. Jack. sociological studies make a vital contribution to the study of a subject that has for so long been discussed in abstract terms with no empirical grounding. Judging Evil: Rethinking the Law of Murder and Manslaughter.

1986. there is evil in the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press. and we should be spending our time and effort trying to prevent and resist evil. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox. and Robert Merihew Adams. 1990. the argument goes. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Some argue that the simple and most logical answer to the problem is that there is no God. Good and Evil. God would be able to prevent any and all evil and suffering from occurring. Good and Evil: Interpreting a Human Condition. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Adams. but a necessary part of a good plan? Philosophers and theologians have argued and written about this problem for centuries. Rebecca S. 1990. Edward. Is God either not all-good or not all-powerful? Is evil not really evil. 1990. The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies. Farley. And yet. Farley.. Mary Knoll: Orbis Books. Wendy. i. Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy. Being all-good. Being all-powerful. but most suggest some reason. God would not want there to be any evil and suffering. Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God. 1952. Theodicies argue for God’s existence and defend God’s goodness and omnipotence. Finally there are those who argue that the effort put into writing theodicies is misguided: we simply cannot know why God permits evils. Minneapolis: Fortress.THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW / SUMMER 00 God and the Problem of Evil Probably the largest category of writings on evil are those dealing with the problem presented to belief in an all-good. Martin. The Problem of Evil. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. the existence of evil is proof that God does not exist or gives reason to believe that it is more probable than not that God does not exist. God might have for permitting evil. to alleviate suffering. and to make sure that justice is carried out. Buber. Chopp. These arguments take numerous forms. Marilyn McCord. Marilyn McCord. eds. some greater good. all-powerful God by the occurrence of evil in the world. 1999.e. Adams. 104 .

Evil and the God of Love. Hick. Surin. Theology and the Problem of Evil. 105 . Oxford: Clarendon. New York: Harper & Row. John. Jon D. Levenson. The Problem of Evil: Selected Readings. another vein of philosophy takes up the subject of evil quite apart from any questions about God. 1996. Richard. Peterson. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Washington. 1978. ed. God. ed. 1974. Tracing their roots to Kant’s idea of radical evil and considering the failures of Western societies to achieve the ideals proposed by the Enlightenment. Kenneth. 1992. Freedom. Lord?: Suffering and Evil in Black Theology. Leaman. 1991. Alvin. 1986. London: Verso. Evil Revisited: Responses and Reconsiderations. 1995. Joan. Michael L.RESEARCH ON EVIL: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Griffin. Anthony B. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Providence and the Problem of Evil. Oliver. these books contend with the questions: How are we to understand evil and human nature? What does the occurrence of evil say about our moral life? Is the human will evil at its base? Is it possible to overcome evil? ■ Copjec. Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence. Swinburne. Albany: State University of New York Press. David Rey. Evil and Suffering in Jewish Philosophy. DC: Georgetown University Press. Plantinga. Pinn. Why. 1988. 1998. and Evil. New York: Continuum. Revised Edition. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1991. Tilley.. Radical Evil. Terence. Philosophy and Evil While philosophy of religion books contend with the problem evil raises for belief in God. The Evils of Theodicy. 1995. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology. 1985. Leiden: E. Fred. 1970. 1984. Facing Evil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization.. Dante’s The Divine Comedy. C.THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW / SUMMER 00 ■ ■ ■ Kekes. a few books focus 106 . Brill. John. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Alford. Satan and Mara: Christian and Buddhist Symbols of Evil. and in doing so. Good and Evil. Amherst: Prometheus Books. Doniger O’Flaherty. but the following books either examine other cultures’ views on evil or compare Western views of evil with those of other cultures. 2000. Bowker. they provide an important perspective on our own understandings of evil. 1988. Evil and Literature Literature has been a vital part of discussions of evil from at least the time of the writing of Job. Boyd. John. Problems of Suffering in the Religions of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Wickedness: A Philosophical Essay. Certain literary texts have become touchstones in discussions of evil: e. London: Routledge.g. W. Milton’s Paradise Lost. While many writings make reference to literature in their discussions of evil. Parkin. 1990. More and more philosophers and theologians are turning to literature in their discussions of our moral life. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Wendy. Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Richard. J. Revised Edition. 1975. J. The Anthropology of Evil. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ed. Mary. Berkeley: University of California Press. David. Midgley. 1976. Evil in Anthropology and World Religions Most of the writings in this bibliography focus on Western perspectives on evil. Taylor.

Evil. interest in the Gothic. Several elements of the Gothic have caught the attention of those interested in evil: its exploration of horror. 1999. 1985.g. but in the past decade. the Gothic novel was exploring the irrational and the limits of rationality.. Bouchard. and terror. Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography. The very idea of evil is being eclipsed by. New Haven: Yale University Press. Roger. Alastair Hamilton. McGinn. has soared.g. Evil and the Gothic Ten years ago. its engagement with the supernatural and its setting in an eerie past. Ethics. among other things: the hyperbolically pos- 107 .RESEARCH ON EVIL: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY explicitly on the relation between literature and evil. Shattuck. discussing the ways specific literary works present evil to us (e.. Tragic Method and Tragic Theology: Evil in Contemporary Drama and Religious Thought. Oxford: Clarendon. particularly those held by younger generations. Shattuck). a bibliography on evil would not have included such a section. both as a literary genre and as a cultural phenomenon. A similar situation is seen by many to be occurring today. or suggesting that literature can draw us into fascinated admiration for evil through glamorous (mis)representations of it (e. Larry. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. George. when rationality was being championed in intellectual circles. 1996. 1997. arguing that certain genres explore the sorts of questions that are raised by experiences of evil (e. bringing to the fore in literature what was being repressed in intellectual life. evil other. Tolczyk. Trans. New York: Marion Boyars. Literature and Evil. See No Evil: Literary Cover-Ups and Discoveries of the Soviet-Camp Experience. Martin’s Press. Bataille). and Fiction. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. violence. New York: St. Bouchard).. 1989. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Bataille. Colin. and its focus on the mysterious.g. and it is shaping our cultural understandings of evil. Dariusz.

However the two books listed below stand out in their attempts at understanding the personal and cultural significance of suffering. Evil. MA: Harvard University Press. and Pain Suffering has been evil’s partner for centuries. What follows are a few of the books that take up the Gothic as either a culture. Suffering. it is evil’s effect. its flip side. David B. on what the experience of pain is like. the expectation that humans will be able to choose not just some specific traits. and Ruin. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. Evil. and Eric Savoy. 1997. Richard. Scarry. American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative. or a way of thinking about evil. New York: North Point. MA: Harvard University Press. Nightmare on Main Street: Angels. Robert K. and how it both is shaped by the world and social context in which it occurs and shapes. Discussions of evil cannot help but speak of suffering. Sadomasochism. New York: Oxford University Press. Elaine. David. Berkeley: University of California Press. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Edmundson. eds. The Literature of Horror: A Companion to the Gothic. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. 108 . Halttunen. 1991. 1999. Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination. Cambridge. Martin. misshapes the world for those who undergo it: ■ ■ Morris.THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW / SUMMER 00 itive rhetoric of advertising. the new-age. they focus specifically on the phenomenology of suffering and pain. 1985. 2000. but everything about themselves (or at least their childrento-be). ed. Davenport-Hines. Mark. interest in evil erupts in other places. a genre. The Culture of Pain. Karen. Cambridge. 1998.. Punter. Eclipsed by these cultural phenomena. 1998. Horror. or more accurately. self-help industry. Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess. Oxford: Blackwell. and the Culture of Gothic.

Straus and Giroux. Forsyth. as both weak in giving in to the serpent’s temptation and wily in leading Adam astray. 1994. and a long list of books could be listed as dealing with the equating of women and/or the feminine with what is wrong with the world. Eve is often portrayed as the source of all evil. Mephistopheles. Feminism. Feminist thought has pointed out the ways in which women have been relegated to the margins. The Devil and The Antichrist While Satan’s death has recently been reported (Delbanco). a few books specifically take up the connection between women and evil: ■ ■ Noddings. New York: Farrar. Lucifer. under his various aliases (the Devil. Jeffrey Burton Russell’s historical series on this figure. 1989.RESEARCH ON EVIL: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Women. 1995. Berkeley: University of California Press. and Evil The connection made throughout history between women and evil is sorely obvious to anyone who takes a moment to think about it. Satan) is hard to surpass. Kathleen M. The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth. 1995. he has had a long and lively career. 109 . Andrew. Neil. New York: Random House. Escape from Paradise: Evil and Tragedy in Feminist Theology. ■ ■ Delbanco. Women and Evil. However. for the sheer amount of information it brings to those interested in evil’s most prominent representative. Nel. and ways in which societies or groups locate an other who is labeled evil. worse. the Antichrist—are not mere biography: they chart conceptions of evil through time. externalizations of cultural understandings of evil. The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil. Minneapolis: Fortress. Sands. made to be the evil other of men. and. Prince of Darkness. But these and other books on the devil—as well as those on evil’s second most prominent representative.

1984. The Destruction of the European Jews. Second Edition. 2000. Satan: The Early Christian Tradition. McGinn. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1985. Christopher R. Three Volumes. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1992. Zygmunt. Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession. 1995. and some of the most profound writings on the subject of evil are those written specifically about the Holocaust. 110 . Anyone interested in evil would do well to consider reading any number of the following books. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. New York: HarperCollins. Hilberg. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1977. New York: Oxford University Press. 1981. Browning. The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Evil in History: The Holocaust Historic evils abound but one. Jeffrey Burton. Bernard. 1989. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. 1995. Elaine. Almost all recent writings on evil refer at some point to the Holocaust. Pagels. The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History. has focused discussions of evil: the Holocaust. Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World. Modernity and the Holocaust. Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil. Russell. in particular. —————. —————. New York: Random House. Raul. New York: Columbia University Press.THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW / SUMMER 00 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Fuller. Robert. —————. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1988. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ■ ■ ■ Bauman. 1986. —————. The Origin of Satan. Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages.

Evil and Exile. 1993. Second Edition. New York: Bantam. Vessels of Evil: American Slavery and the Holocaust. —————. Night. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.RESEARCH ON EVIL: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ■ ■ ■ ■ Lang. 2000. 1990. Berel. 1999. Stella Rodway. The Future of the Holocaust: Between History and Memory. Thomas. Laurence Mordekhai. 111 . Philadelphia: Temple University Press. and Philippe-Michaël de Saint-Cheron. Wiesel. Elie. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame. Trans.