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Thinking About Evil

Key information

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Module description

The approach will be problem- and skill-oriented, working with key concepts and key theories. Through lectures, students will be introduced to the key concepts of the debate. Students will be provided with handouts that will help them to follow the key debates. They will also be directed in reading assignments. Some time will be assigned to discussion in class. The interactive nature of this method of teaching will require a flexible approach to the amount of material covered in any single lecture.

Sample topics
  • The problem of evil: clarification of concepts
  • Augustine and patristic literature
  • Aquinas and the philosophy of the middle ages
  • Theodicy and modernity
  • “Worlds without suffering” – approaching utopias
  • Evil: The current debate
  • Contemporary Approaches: Susan Neiman and Alvin Plantinga
  • Theodicy and the Jewish tradition
  • The problem of suffering in world religions
  • Evil and the 20th Century: Philosophy after Auschwitz
  • “Trying to make sense”


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Assessment details

One 2,000-word coursework essay (100%) 

Teaching pattern

 one two-hour lecture weekly over ten weeks

Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.