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Good and Evil After Auschwitz

Ethical Implications for Today

By Jack Bemporad

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Good and Evil After Auschwitz is a compendium of the papers presented at an extraordinary symposium convened at the Vatican in 1998. It represents the views of more than 30 of the world's foremost theologians and religious thinkers on the inescapable moral question of our era, the problem of how, if at all, believers can reconcile their faith in a just and merciful God with the mass murder of millions of innocents during the Holocaust.
Although the symposium took place in the Vatican, it gave voice to the thought and anguish of Jewish and Protestant thinkers as well as Roman Catholics, for its organizers understood that the issue with which they wished to grapple was of compelling interest to members of all faith communities. Similarly, the participants came from many different countries, for these issues are of worldwide concern and are troubling for people everywhere.
In addition to leading American scholars who have written extensively on the Holocaust, the participants include many individuals well known in European intellectual and philosophical circles.
The volume includes an interview with Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and excerpts from the writings of Moshe Flinker, Etty Hillesum, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Good and Evil After Auschwitz is a powerful and thought-provoking book. The profoundly moving contributions by the symposium participants can serve as signposts to guide us in the effort to confront the awesome questions posed by the Holocaust, even as they remind us that no human answer can possibly be adequate to its enormity.

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