March 18 at 10 am in the Great Hall –
St. Augustine taught that evil is not a substance. It is, as it were, a by-product of our freedom, and especially of our sin. Some say the effects of that sin did not fall solely on the world of humans, but spilled over into the natural world as well, in the form of storms and natural disasters. However, I am not sure I would label destructive natural phenomenon as evil. The natural world has patterns of life, death, and resurrection that make it healthy and complete. Nevertheless, any action, whether disastrous or not, by the definition of its existence, falls within God’s sovereign realm, even when God is not the sponsor or author of the event. This makes understanding evil a rather tricky process. But let’s give it a try.