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Description - What Evil Means to Us by C. Fred Alford

C. Fred Alford interviewed working people, prisoners, and college students in order to discover how people experience evil-in themselves, in others, and in the world. What people meant by evil, he found, was a profound, inchoate feeling of dread so overwhelming that they tried to inflict it on others to be rid of it themselves. A leather-jacketed emergency medical technician, for example, one of the many young people for whom vampires are oddly seductive icons of evil, said he would "give anything to be a vampire."Drawing on psychoanalytic theory, Alford argues that the primary experience of evil is not moral but existential. The problems of evil are complicated by the terror it evokes, a threat to the self so profound it tends to be isolated deep in the mind. Alford suggests an alternative to this bleak vision. The exercise of imagination-in particular, imagination that takes the form of a shared narrative-offers an active and practical alternative to the contemporary experience of evil. Our society suffers from a paucity of shared narratives and the creative imagination they inspire.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801434303
ISBN-10: 0801434300
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 140mm x 5mm)
Pages: 200
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 4-Sep-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - C. Fred Alford

C. Fred Alford is Professor of Government and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization and What Evil Means to Us, both from Cornell, as well asTrauma, Culture, and PTSD,Trauma and Forgiveness: Consequences and Community, and many other books.

Books By C. Fred Alford

Trauma and Forgiveness by C. Fred Alford
Paperback, November 2015
Psychology and the Natural Law of Reparation by C. Fred Alford
Paperback, December 2010
After the Holocaust by C. Fred Alford
Paperback, April 2009