EL 249 Good and Evil I

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Module Level

Level 8 (2nd year undergraduate)


Continuous Assessment: 100% // three journal entries (300 words each) = 20% // one focused, unit-specific essay (800 words) = 30% // one synthesis paper referencing various aspects of the module (1,500-2,000 words) = 50% Attendance will be taken and taken into account.

Module Aims


To consider questions raised by the human experience of good and evil, and how it may impact understandings of God, humanity, ethics, and social issues of crime, punishment and reconciliation.

Module Structure:

This module is interdisciplinary, delivered by members of the Departments of Law, Philosophy and Theology. It is comprised of six units. Each unit, delivered over four classes, focuses on another aspect of the question. The fourth class will be an integrative seminar where students are encouraged to identify themes, questions, and interactions between the disciplines.

Indicative Syllabus

Understanding the Experience of Good and Evil from the perspective of: classical philosophy; the question of human dignity; moral atheism; the search for meaning as we live together; Christian ideas of forgiveness and reconciliation; the punishment of crime; changing social and legal norms.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognise key questions relevant to the theme of good and evil
  • Identify how the theme can be explored in philosophy, literature, religion, socio-cultural realities and legal debates.
  • Recognise how assumptions about Good and Evil are implicit in, and come to bear on, a plethora of cultural suppositions, existential experiences, religious beliefs and legal policies.
  • Characterise how visions of the human person affect understandings of Good and Evil.
  • Discuss social and legal efforts to direct behaviour and punish evil.