Oxford University just held a conference on evilBy Editor
At the Andrew Wiles Building at the University on June 27th evil was lurking. A lot of evil. Bucket loads of the stuff. However, rather than being a theatre of literal horror, the lecture hall was the setting for a conference on all things bad, with a detailed delving into how humans interact with the notion.
Katie Kirkpatrick, who organised the talks alongside linguist Marieke Mueller, put on the event in an attempt to solve theoretical issues such as “do we call individual actions evil, or do people have evil characters?” and is there “anyone who doesn’t have a bad bone in their body?”
Speaking to Oxford University’s news and events section of the institution’s official website, the theologian also hoped by conducting the convention would also answer:
“If someone is pure evil, does that make them responsible for their actions, or do they not have a choice? If you put ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances they will sometimes do heinous things.”
Helping to answer these queries were key note speakers intellectual Terry Eagleton with his discussion ‘On Evil’ and religion and feminist philosopher Pamela Sue Anderson, who performed a talk entitled ‘A Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Evil.’
Postgraduate students that attended the event were also encouraged to put together a twenty minute piece on their interpretation of evil. Those taking part had until March 30th, whereby the most interesting offerings were added to the esteemed list of speakers.
So one can only estimate what Oxford University will consider next. The idea of love? Indifference? Hanger? Only time will tell.