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.