In Responding to Evil Joseph Kelly treats evil as a force in our personal lives. He talks about the impact of September 11 on the American consciousness and how that brought the question of evil front and center. Professor Kelly then looks at what evil does to us and how previous generations have dealt with it. By focusing on the sins people commit rather than the questions psychologists tend to focus on, such as murder or theft, or on tragedies that occurred in Rwanda or during the Holocaust, Kelly makes the discussion of evil relevant to readers like us who are not really "evil" but who face the problem of our own sinfulness every day.
In taking up the intellectual question of how God and evil can coexist Kelly relates the ideas in the book to real-life situations, especially of good and caring people. Finally, he shares how we can respond to evil and looks at how some modern Christians, often ordinary people, have done so.
Chapters are “What Evil Does to Us,” “How Can God and Evil Co-Exist?” “Responses to Evil,” and “Some Final Thoughts.”
Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, chair of the department of religious studies at John Carroll University, is also active in religious education for the Diocese of Cleveland. Of his eight previous books, with Liturgical Press he has published The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition and The World of the Early Christians.
Kelly offers a salvific vision of how individuals can respond and indeed overcome the evil seen in the world today. Written in a simple, clear, personal style with reflection questions to more individualize the lessons, Kelly's book provides a much needed antidote to our almost overwhelming consciousness of evil in the world today.
Catholic Library World
The problem of evil touches everyone. Professor Kelly provides a careful introduction to the problem of evil for the general reader, drawing on the whole of Christian tradition. His is a message of hope telling that each of us, in our own ways, can address the evil we meet with positive acts of Christian love.
Phyllis Zagano, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
In this brief but compelling little book, Joseph Kelly . . . offers a thoughtful contemporary theodicy for young Christians.
Joseph F. Kelly, Professor of Religious Studies at John Caroll University, has written a concise yet nuanced pastoral theological response to the problem of evil.
In a very adept and concise manner, Kelly presents very comprehensible possibilities to the many burning questions relating to the nature, identity, and understanding of evil. Without compromising his usual scholastic rigor, Kelly presents an involving discussion on this complex subject matter that is very accessible to the laity. The personal anecdotes and reflections that he shares contribute to the fascination, as well as the overall enjoyment of the text's reading. This well-written treatise on theodicy and evil is an excellent resource for church and laity study groups, as well as for the college and seminary community. Responding to Evil is a very timely book that should be read by all.
Valentino Lassiter, Pastor, Eastview United Church of Christ
Every true theologian, we have come to understand, is a pastoral theologian. Joseph Kelly's narrative treatment of the problem of evil is clear, instructive, authoritativeand truly pastoral. This timely book both enlightens and encourages at a time when responding to evil is a paramount responsibility for us all.
Donald Cozzens, John Carroll University, Author, Sacred Silence and The Changing Face of the Priesthood