The History of Evil in the Early Twentieth Century : 1900–1950 CE book cover
1st Edition

The History of Evil in the Early Twentieth Century
1900–1950 CE

ISBN 9781032095165
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

The fifth volume of The History of Evil covers the twentieth century from 1900 through 1950. The period saw the maturation of intellectual movements such as Pragmatism and Phenomenology, and the full emergence of several new academic disciplines; all these provided novel intellectual tools that were used to shed light on a human capacity for evil that was becoming increasingly hard to ignore. An underlying theme of this volume is the effort to reconstruct an understanding of human nature after confidence in its intrinsic goodness and moral character had been shaken by world events. The chapters in this volume cover globally relevant topics such as education, propaganda, power, oppression, and genocide, and include perspectives on evil drawn from across the world. Theological and atheistic responses to evil are also examined in the volume.

This outstanding treatment of approaches to evil at a determinative period of modernity will appeal to those with interests in the intellectual history of the era, as well as to those with interests in the political, philosophical and theological movements that matured within it.  

Table of Contents


Editors and contributors

Series Introduction


Victoria S. Harrison

1. Pragmatism and Evil: Charles Peirce and William James

David L. O’Hara

2. Education and Approaches to Evil

Nel Noddings

3. Phenomenology

Eric Chelstrom

4. Psychology and Evil: from Freud to Skinner
Rachel B. Blass

5. Science and Evil

Christopher Southgate

6. Theological Currents

Russell Re Manning

7. Death of God

Balázs M. Mezei

8. Suffering and Liberation

Xue Yu

9. Philosophical Perspectives on Suffering and Evil in Colonial India

Nalini Bhushan

10. Pacifism and Non-Violent Resistance

Timothy Paul Erdel

11. Power and Freedom
Jeffery A. Smith

12. Genocide

Raimond Gaita

13. Anarchism and Evil

Jan Narveson

14. Marxism, Stalin, and the Question of Evil

Bill Martin

15. The Maoist Perspective on Evil

Xiufen Lu

16. The Charisma of Evil: Hitler and Propaganda

Rhett Gayle

17. Representations of Evil in Early Film

Mara Naselli


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Victoria S. Harrison is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Macau, China.

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

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


"Covering a period perhaps more terrible than any other for the amount of evil suffered and perpetrated, this wide-ranging volume offers a variety of perspectives, philosophical, theological, moral and political, for reflecting on the horrors of our all too recent history." John Cottingham, University of Roehampton and University of Reading, UK

A rich, lucid and wide-ranging collection, offering refreshingly new perspectives on evil and suffering in the early 20th century. Anyone interested in gaining insight into the nature of evil, its metaphysical, theological, psychological or political foundations, and the inspiring attempts to defeat it throughout the globe, from East to West, using educational, socio-political, scientific or contemplative means, will find rich food for thought in this superb collection. Nehama Verbin, Tel Aviv University, Israel.