Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil

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9780060833008: Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil

We are still surprised by evil. From Auschwitz to the events of September 11, we have been shocked into recognizing the startling capacity for evil within the human heart. We now know 9/11 revealed that our country was unprepared in terms of national security, but it also showed we were intellectually and morally unprepared to deal with such a barbaric act.

Our language to describe evil and our ethical will to resist it have grown uncertain and confused. Many who speak unabashedly of evil are dismissed as simplistic, old–fashioned, and out of tune with the realities of modern life. Yet we must have some kind of language to help us understand the pain and suffering at the heart of human experience.

Author and speaker Os Guinness confronts our inability to understand evil – let alone respond to it effectively – by providing both a lexicon and a strategy for finding a way forward. Since 9/11, much public discussion has centered on the destructiveness of extremist religion. Guinness provocatively argues that this is far from an accurate picture and too easy an explanation. In this expansive exploration of both the causes of modern evil and solutions for the future, he faces our tragic recent past and our disturbing present with courageous honesty. In order to live an "examined life," Guinness writes, we must come to terms with our beliefs regarding evil and ultimately join the fight against it.

Addressing individuals as well as a traumatized culture, Unspeakable is an invitation to explore the challenge of contemporary evil, a call to confront our culture of fear, and a journey to find words to come to terms with the unspeakable so that it will no longer leave us mute.

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From the Back Cover:

There are no words to express the pain, anguish, and despair that sear the human heart in the face of suffering. From wars to car accidents, birth defects to genocide, the realities of life on earth are sometimes . . . unspeakable. Yet no matter how hard we try to avoid or ignore these tragedies, they are facts of life that we must face. In Unspeakable, now available in paperback, leading public intellectual Os Guinness guides us through an exploration of evil and suffering, seeking to illuminate the nagging questions of the inhumanity of humanity as well as the place of God in human suffering. This honest and thoughtful exploration provides a roadmap to help us think through evil intelligently and respond to it courageously.

About the Author:

Os Guinness, an author and social critic, has written or edited more than twenty-five books, including The Call, Long Journey Home, Unspeakable, and The American Hour. A frequent speaker and seminar leader at political and business conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia, Guinness has lectured at many of the world's leading universities and has often spoken on Capitol Hill. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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