Chapter

Seeing Darkness, Hearing Silence Augustine's Account of Evil

Stanley Hauerwas

in Naming Evil Judging Evil

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780226306735
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226306742 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226306742.003.0003
Seeing Darkness, Hearing Silence Augustine's Account of Evil

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This chapter addresses the destructive features of a modern morality whose only moral touchstone is ultimate evil. Modernity is characterized by a fascination with evil coupled with skepticism about the good. The chapter turns to Augustine for a critical alternative. Augustine views evil as nothing other than a privation of the good. Thus, moral reflection must begin with a conception of the good. Building on Augustine, it argues for a conception of the good shared by a particular community, one which is humble in the knowledge of its own propensity for sin and, in particular, for perpetrating evil in the name of the good.

Keywords: morality; ultimate evil; modernity; good; Augustine; moral reflection; sin

Chapter.  9323 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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