chapter  4
26 Pages

EVIL, MONSTROSITY AND THE SUBLIME

One of the oldest conundrums of human thought is unde malum? Wheredoes evil come from? What are the origins of evil – human, natural, supernatural? And what, by implication, is the character and content of evil – sin, suffering, catastrophe, death? I open this chapter with a brief history of evil from early myths to the modern theories of Leibniz and Kant, before proceeding in the second part to a critical discussion of the postmodern notion of the monstrous sublime. I will conclude with an outline of some ‘ethical’ responses to the enigma of evil in terms of narrative understanding and action.