Before the Age of Enlightenment (18th century), thinkers did not distinguish between moral evil (e.g., war) and natural evil (e.g., a devastating earthquake), and all evil was ultimately explained as originating with God. Philosophers after the Enlightenment thought of evil in a completely different manner. Their approach, however, may not satisfy everyone’s opinions about this difficult topic. We explore the history of thinking about evil from the 18th century to the present.

Michael Nutkiewicz was executive director of Oasis Albuquerque from 2010-2014. He now teaches and publishes on topics in Jewish and general European history and philosophy. Besides university teaching, he has held executive positions with agencies that work with refugees and victims of political violence. He received his PhD in history from UCLA.