Emil Fackenheim's Theory Of Evil

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Why does God allow evil to haunt the lives of many individuals? This question has caused a huge impact on the way of thinking of people, especially writers. Every religion has intended to make sense out of the purpose for evil to exist in this world. Throughout many historical eras, many responses to this problem have emerged. The concept of evil has played an important role in the three Abrahamic religions, Islam, Judaism and, Christianity. Evil has been described as a product of either Human nature (Christianity, Julian of Norwich), privation (Islam, Mohammad Saeedimehr) or uncertainty (Judaism, Emil Fackenheim). Each religion has a different point of view in regards to the problem of describing evil and establishing a concise response to…show more content…
Emil Fackenheim had been troubled by an event, contemporary to him, which not only resulted in the extermination of thousands of Jews but also on the alteration in the way of thinking of many; the Holocaust. Fackenheim designated Auschwitz, a renowned concentration camp, to be an absolute representation of evil. This particular event had taken the life of Fackenheim’s older brother away (Encyclopedia.com). During the time of the Holocaust, Judaism was on the verge of disappearing as its followers were being hunted down by the Nazis. The survivors of the holocaust, being uncertain about what was the motive behind it, began to acquire a more skeptical view in regards to Judaism and God. This uncertainty, in most of the cases, resulted in the denial of this terrible event by the Jews themselves, but as Emile Fackenheim explains, this uncertainty would grant Hitler and the Nazis “a posthumous victory” (160) This victory can be interpreted as the fragmentation of Judaism as an organized doctrine, therefore ultimately achieving its termination (). Fackenheim states that as Jews they are “forbidden to affirm present and future life, at the price of forgetting Auschwitz” (159). As Emil Fackenheim states, the denial and doubt by the Jews would have boosted the effect that evil, in this case Auschwitz, had on the Jewish community. This Jewish explanation of evil is the only one that explores the concept of losing one’s hope and community as a product of religious denial. In contrast to the Mohammad Saeedimehr and Julian of Norwich’s interpretations of evil, Emile Fackenheim did not intended to examine the nature of evil but rather its effects on the people which were troubled by

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