The adornment of evil. Narrativity, evil and reconciliation


  • WA De Wit Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Tilburg



Narrativity, evil deeds, (premature ) reconciliation, The adornment of evil.


Are we at all able to recognise for what it is, that phenomenon which in contemporary political opinion, in our philosophical and theological traditions, but also in prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer, is designated ‘evil’? And here I mean: are we able to think it without betraying it, without ‘changing the subject’, without reducing it to something more reassuring, not reconciling it prematurely, but at the same time without being seduced by it, by positing it as omnipotentor imbued with an implacable necessity? This seems to be no easy task, for as the proverb goes, ‘the devil is the master of disguise”. He tricks us, and seduces us to self-deception. Evil goes incognito, and, in a society such as ours, where power – according to Michel Foucault’s well-known statement – is no longer primarily aimed at repressing or prohibiting something, but rather at promoting usefulness, productivity and health, it not infrequently assumes the form of the forces of humanity and the humanitarian, as the implementation of good within a recalcitrant world.






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