Crimes, Sins, and Monstrosities
Evil in Literature
  A Bibliography on Evil


Dean, Richard. An Essay on the Future Life of Brutes, Introduced with Observations upon Evil, Its Nature, and Origin. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2003.

"Richard Dean took on the problems of theodicy and animal souls in an even more Popean (and Hildropian) manner. Dean's Essay sets out to discuss the existence of evil and God's goodness. Dean's position is traditional, his chief aim being 'to shew, that pain and death are foreign accidents, neither decreed as inevitable, nor necessary' (Dean, I.22). Dean accomplishes this by distinguishing between four theodicies: Manichean, Leibnizean, the 'Modern' position, and the theory that natural evil derives from moral evil. Physical evil and the suffering of animals are a consequence of man's sin (Dean, I.74), but with man's redemption so will the rest of nature be redeemed. Dean's primary targets are the Cartesians, particularly Malebranche, and much of the second volume of his Essay is taken up with scriptural exegesis, citations from authority and observations of the irregularity of brute behaviour intended to counter the Cartesian beast-machine thesis. He argues for the immortality of brutes and a criticism of those who might think of animals as merely instruments of human pleasure (Dean, II.80). Dean concludes, as did Charles Bonnet in Palingénésie Philosophique published one year later, that as much as human reason exceeds brute faculties so will human bliss exceed brute bliss in the next life. But even the lesser bliss accorded animals is immortality, and just cause not to torture them in this life." (Aaron Garrett)

Diamond, Stephen A. Anger, Madness and the Daimonic. Albany: State U of New York P, 1999.

"The central concept of this book is the daimonic, which can be described as any natural function with the power to control the emotions. Sex, anger, rage, the search for power, creativity are such precipitators. It is only when such affects assert and perpetuate themselves that they become evil." (Neal Gardner)

Dijkstra, Bram. Evil Sisters: The Threat of Female Sexuality and the Cult of Manhood. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.

"Evil Sisters highlights the dangers of metaphors and the violent repercussions of 'scientific' revelations concerning the supposedly 'genetic' differences between men and women. Evil Sisters questions the foundations of 20th century thought, targeting science's aura of infallibility and a small-minded public that keeps confusing the head on the shoulders with the one between the legs." (Stuart Klawans)

Dilman, Ilham. Raskolnikov's Rebirth: Psychology and the Understanding of Good and Evil. Peru, IL: Open Court, 2000.

Dilman explains the role that Freud's theory of psychoanalysis plays in our understanding of ethics and in our continuing investigation into the nature of good and evil. Arguing against recent critics of Freud, Dilman shows that the strength of psychoanalysis lies in its ability to reflect upon human life and its different modes of being.

Doob, Leonard William. Panorama of Evil: Insights from the Behavioral Sciences. Westport: Greenwood, 1978.

Drees, Willem B., ed. Is Nature Ever Evil? Religion, Science and Value. London: Taylor & Francis, 2003.

From a premise of how to apply moral value to nature under the auspices of major thinkers, this book examines the value-structure of our cosmos and of the science that seeks to describe it. What moral strategies can science give for understanding the human experience of our world? Science, says Drees, claims to leave moral questions to aesthetic and religious theory.

Feinberg, John S. The Many Faces of Evil. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

Theological assessment of various responses to the problem of evil written from a Calvinistic perspective; a theistic alternative to the "free will defense."

---. Theologies and Evil. Washington, DC: UP of America, 1979.

Frey, Robert Seitz. Our Future in Light of Twentieth-Century Evil: Hope, History and Human Culture. [N.p.]: International Scholars P, 1997.

Frey suggests that, "for our collectives future to have meaning beyond privatized economic or religious refuge, talk must cohere into clear-minded visions and pathways illuminated by compassion, informed tolerance, sacrifice, humility and obligation directed toward the Earth, our fellow human beings, and generations unborn."

Fromm, Erich. Heart of Man: Its Genius for Good and Evil. New York: Harper & Row 1968.

Fromm attempts to dissect what he saw as a further fundamental orientation present in western societies - a fascination with death and things (objects).

Galligan, Michael. God and Evil. Mahwah: Paulist, 1976.

Garcia, Jorge J., and Douglas Davis, eds. Metaphysics of Good and Evil according to Suarez. Munich: Analytica, 1989.

Geddes, Jennifer. Evil after Postmodernism: Histories, Narratives and Ethics. New York: Routledge, 2001.

The six essays in this collection address our understanding of evil in the light of postmodern thought. They are organized around three topics – the histories, narratives, and ethics of evil. In each section, the first essay illustrates theoretical difficulties faced by thinking about evil in the postmodern age, while the second offers a response to that difficulty.

Gelven, Michael. This Side of Evil. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1998.

Gillis, Stacy, and Gates, Philippa, ed. The Devil Himself: Villainy in Detective Fiction and Film, Vol. 73. Westport: Greenwood, 2001

This study of the villain in detective fiction and film examines such questions as what the villains reflect about the heroes, what they reflect about society, and what defines villainous activity. The texts discussed span the end of the 18th through the 20th century and range from Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland (1798) to the film Seven (1995). Correspondingly, essays address issues of gender, genre, race, and class.

Gilmore, David D. Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2002.

While mythologists have closely studied heroes, monsters have been neglected, even though they are equally important as panhuman symbols and reveal similar insights into ways the mind works. In this book, the author explores what human traits monsters represent and why they are so ubiquitous in people's imaginations and share so many features across different cultures.

Gordon, Haim, and Rivca Gordon. Sartre and Evil: Guidelines for a Struggle. Oxford: Greenwood, 1995.

Sartre has more to say about evil – its origins in, effects on modern man, and how to fight it – than any other philosopher in the 20th century does. In this book, the authors examine many of Sartre's literary and philosophical writings for what they have to say about the nature of evil and its effect on our lives. From this, they evolve guidelines for those wishing to fight evil in their own lives. Using examples from their experience with human rights violations, the authors suggest that evil is "any attempt to purposely destroy the freedom of a person," and demonstrate that Sartre's work can be useful as a guide for getting along in the contemporary world. The authors analyze Sartre's understanding of evil and his suggestions for fighting it, and discuss their own struggles against evil in their work for human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories. They describe the ruse of noble evil, and address the flight from the horror of evil, searching the philosopher's works for insights on these questions. The rest of the book focuses on Sartre's ontological presentation of evil, especially as discussed in Saint Genet. An appendix describes two studies the authors conducted in relation to the spread of political evil in Israel.

Gottemoller, Bartholomew. Why Good People Suffer: A Practical Treatise on the Problem of Evil. New York: Vantage, 1987.

Hafeman, Edith. Edith and the Evil Spirits. Los Angeles: Vantage, 1991.

Hagerty, Cornelius. The Problem of Evil. North Quincy: Christopher, 1978.

Harris, Errol E. The Problem of Evil. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1977.

Haybron, Daniel M. Earth's Abominations: Philosophical Studies of Evil. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002.

Believing that ethics without a theory of evil is like psychology without a theory of psychopathology, US, British, and Canadian scholars of philosophy present a number of non-theological perspectives on evil.

Heagle, John. Suffering and Evil. Notre Dame: Ave Maria P, 1987.

Herman, A. L. Problem of Evil and Indian Thought. Delhi: Orient Book, 1976.

First, Herman provides a critical history of Western and Eastern theodicies. In the second part of the book, Herman turns to the history of the problem of evil in Indian thought and provides a solution to the theological problem of evil through a Hindu, specifically Sankarian, theodicy.

Hibbert, Christopher. The Roots of Evil: A Social History of Crime and Punishment. Westport: Greenwood, 1978.

A comprehensive study of crime and punishment from the 17th century to modern times.

Hindie, William D. Evil American Empire. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Most Americans have been unhappy with the management of their nation. Even an insensitive American President, George Bush, confessed to a desire to have a kinder, gentler nation. In his book, Hindie examines some of the reasons, rarely exposed by the nation's intelligentsia and its mass media, for the widespread social, political, and economic malaise afflicting the nation. The starting point is that the United States is no longer a truly independent nation since it has become such a prime superpower with its own Colonial Empire.

Horne, Brian. Imagining Evil. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1996.

Howard-Snyder, Daniel, ed. The Evidential Argument from Evil. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996.

Is evil evidence against the existence of God? Even if God and evil are compatible, it remains hotly contested whether evil renders belief in God unreasonable. The Evidential Argument from Evil places five classic statements on this issue by eminent philosophers and theologians in dialogue with eleven new essays, reflecting new thinking by these and other scholars. The volume focuses on two versions of the argument. The first affirms that there is no reason for God to permit certain specific horrors or the variety and profusion of undeserved suffering. The second asserts that the biological role of pleasure and pain shows that hypotheses other than theism explain better those phenomena.

Hunter, James. The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age without Good or Evil. New York: Basic, 1999.

Hunter traces the death of character to the disintegration of the moral and social conditions that make character possible in the first place. He argues that the problem is not an absence of morality but rather the emptying of meaning and authority from the morality that is advocated in attempts to instill moral ideals in young people.


Updated August 9, 2011

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