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Harry Potter, St. Augustine, and the Confrontation with Evil

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Published on Jul 25, 2007

Google Tech Talks
July 10, 2007

ABSTRACT

In the Latin West, explaining the origin, meaning, and response to evil has been a central theological and cultural project, beginning with the magisterial work of St. Augustine in the 4th-5th centuries. If a good God created the world, how did evil enter it? For centuries the greatest minds fretted with such matters. But in the last century, the vocabulary of evil has fallen out of favor with many cultural elites who prefer syndromes to sin and maladjustment to wickedness. Children's literature had also backed off evil for years--too frightening for the young, it was believed. But evil plays a central role in the Harry Potter stories; in them, evil is...

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