In this interdisciplinary theology seminar, we shall probe the origin and nature of evil by engaging key biblical, philosophical, psychological, and anthropological resources. Central to our discussions will be a sapiential (wisdom-oriented) re-reading of the Fall narrative of Genesis 3–4, set against the backdrop of the good, yet largely wild, creation of Genesis 1–2. In addition to surveying a variety of contemporary theodicies read up against the challenge offered by both “protest atheism” and the biblical lament literature (especially the book of Job), we shall also pay special attention to the correlation between victim and agent in the ongoing dynamics to “original sin” and to the concomitant role of fear in the construction of culture. In attending to evil’s (arguably) anthropocentric origin as a key to its present nature—which will prompt us to revisit our understanding of the primordial conditions of possibility along with the largely overlooked biblical connections between the Satan and the absolutization (and denaturing) of Justice—we shall also look ahead, via pondering the relationship between law and grace, to the promise of a (divine and human) judgment unto salvation.
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Hours per Week: