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The Nature of Good and Evil: Understanding the Acts of Moral and Immoral Behavior

The Nature of Good and Evil: Understanding the Acts of Moral and Immoral Behavior
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Index , Notes , Bibliography
$24.95 (24.95)

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"Samuel P. Oliner's exploration of The Nature of Good and Evil is informed by his grasp of history, his mastery of sociology and the authority of his own experience as one who as a young child of the Holocaust experienced the nature of both good and evil when he was rescued by a Polish non-Jew at the risk of her life. In this work, by concentrating on the Holocaust, the Armenian and Rwandan genocides, Oliner has further solidified his well deserved reputation as a scholar of insight and discernment into an area often left to philosophers and theologians and he has enriched our vocabulary to comprehend both good and evil while enlarging our moral imagination. A valuable contribution to the field, an even more valuable contribution to moral discourse in our age of atrocity, he allows us to Understand the Many Faces of Moral and Immoral Human Behavior." --Michael Berenbaum

"Oliner has reminded us once again of the capacity of human beings for both depraved cruelty and loving heroism."--Nel Noddings, author of The Maternal Factor: Two Paths to Morality

"With this book, Samuel Oliner continues to demonstrate why he is one of the preeminent sociologists of our time, as he grapples with the most fundamental issues of life and death and the nature of good and evil. Synthesizing and culling insights from a wide-ranging interdisciplinary literature, Oliner is primarily concerned with the most radical manifestations of evil, most notably the Holocaust and the Armenian and Rwandan genocides. While shedding light on the perpetrators of evil and the bystanders whose passivity is complicit in their wrongdoing, Oliner also highlights those whose resistance and heroic opposition to evil serve as moral exemplars to others." --Ronald Berger, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Author of Surviving the Holocaust: A Life Course Approach

"The Nature of Good and Evil: Understanding the Many Faces of Moral and Immoral Human Behavior , by Sam Oliner, is an inspiring read. After I finished reading this book, I wanted to do good works and combat evil wherever I saw it. I will live differently because of it. Read this book. It will inspire you, too." --Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Professor of Psychology and Author of Forgiving and Reconciling (InterVarsity Press)

“Drawing upon the latest social psychology, a breathtaking nuanced look at history, personal narratives, and his own experiences during the holocaust, in this book Sam Oliner tells the deepest and most moving of the origins of good and evil I have every read. It is must reading for those who seek answers to this age old question about human nature.” --Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, Co-Director of The Greater Good Science Center, and author of Born to Be Good the Science of a Meaningful Life

“Samuel P. Oliner has created an innovative and profound analysis of the nature of deep evil. In the best traditions of social science, he joins with luminaries such as Roy Baumeister and Ervin Staub in bringing evil into the light of scientific understanding. Oliner shows us a path away from evil through the exemplar of resilient goodness who are, in the end, no different than all of us when we too stand up against such malice. --Stephen Post, Ph.D.,Professor of Preventative Medicine, Director of the Center of Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, Stony Brook University, and President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love

"Sam Oliner continues his lifetime quest into the darkest recesses of human behavior in order to illuminate acts reflecting the best of human behavior. This powerful work, so relevant to our times, provides the background and template for responding morally and ethically to racist provocateurs and their followers.--Robert Krell, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia and co-editor with Martin Glassner of And Life is Changed Forever: Holocaust Childhoods Remembered

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Follow the Leader: Why People Go Against their Better Judgment
Chapter 2 How Could They Do That?: Understanding the Many Sources and Faces of Evil
Chapter 3 Silently Standing By: Why We Do or Don’t Come to the Aid of Those Who Need Us
Chapter 4 Paving the Way to Resistance: The Gift of Good during the Nazi Occupation 1939-1945
Chapter 5 Preconditions of Resistance during the Armenian and Rwandan Genocides
Chapter 6 Nature of Goodness
Chapter 7 The World of Heroes: Why We Need Heroes
Chapter 8 Conclusion

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