1st Edition

The History of Evil in Antiquity 2000 BCE - 450 CE

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    322 Pages
    by Routledge

    This first volume of The History of Evil covers Graeco-Roman, Indian, Near Eastern, and Eastern philosophy and religion from 2000 BCE to 450 CE. This book charts the foundations of the history of evil among the major philosophical traditions and world religions, beginning with the oldest recorded traditions: the Vedas and Upaniṣads, Confucianism and Daoism, and Buddhism, and continuing through Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian schools of thought. This cutting-edge treatment of the history of evil at its crucial and determinative inception will appeal to those with particular interests in the ancient period and early theories and ideas of evil and good, as well as those seeking an understanding of how later philosophical and religious developments were conditioned and shaped.

    1. Ancient Israel – Rüdiger Schmitt

    2. The Book of Job – Katherine Dell

    3. Early Christian Thought – Charles Taliaferro

    4. Saint Paul – Timothy Gombis

    5. Early Zoroastrian Thought – Jenny Rose

    6. Manichaeism – Michael Mendelson

    7. The Gnostics – Giovanni Filoramo

    8. The Presocratics – Vicki L. Harper

    9. Socrates and Plato – Sophie Grace Chappell

    10. Aristotle – Tom Angier

    11. Epicureanism – Thomas A. Blackson

    12. The Stoics – John Sellars

    13. Scepticism – Richard Bett

    14. Neoplatonism – Kevin Corrigan

    15. Philo of Alexandria – Marian Hillar

    16. Evil in Graeco-Roman Religion and Literature – Rocki Wentzel

    17. Vedas and Upanisads – Shyam Ranganathan

    18. Buddhism – Peter Harvey

    19. Ancient China – Randall L. Nadeau

    20. Representations of Evil – Dale Jacquette


    Tom P. S. Angier is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

    Chad Meister is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Bethel College, USA.

    Charles Taliaferro is Professor of Philosophy at St Olaf College, USA.

    "The History of Evil in Antiquity would be a very useful volume to employ in a college course on the problem of evil. It should also prove of great interest to the many members of the general public who wrestle with the tension between the claim that the world is rooted in divine goodness and the existence of obvious and often horrendous evils."

    William J. Wainwright, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

    "Evil is a problem for everybody. As contributors to this book show, it's always been a problem. But explaining evil—its sources, what to do about it, who is to blame, and God's relation to it—has been done in various ways. These essays provide historical perspectives and explanatory options. Ironically, it's good to have this evil book!"

    Thomas Jay Oord, author of The Uncontrolling Love of God

    "We think we know what evil is, since we've all had some experience with the subject. Yet it has been understood in very different ways across various cultures and times. The History of Evil series bids fair to deepen our grasp of how various, and how variously conceived, evil is. The diversity examined in this first volume of the series is already enough to raise the fundamental question of whether we're really talking about the same thing when we talk about conceptions of evil in West and East, antiquity and modernity. It's a mind-expanding volume."

    Phillip Cary, Eastern University, USA