16 October 2006

Monday Quote Frenzy - Encountering Evil

Kathleen Norris, in “Native Evil”, published in the Winter 2000 issue of Boston College Magazine:
Any creative encounter with evil requires that we not distance ourselves from it by simply demonizing those who commit evil acts. In order to write about evil, a writer has to try to comprehend it, from the inside out; to understand the perpetrators and not necessarily sympathize with them. But Americans seem to have a very difficult time recognizing that there is a distinction between understanding and sympathizing. Somehow we believe that an attempt to inform ourselves about what leads to evil is an attempt to explain it away. I believe that just the opposite is true, and that when it comes to coping with evil, ignorance is our worst enemy.
This excerpt is quoted by Jessica Stern in her 2003 book Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (New York: HarperCollins, p. xiii).


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