- The Origins

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Author: A. James McAdams
Part II: The Origins. Discussions and readings for the course, "Ten Images of Hell in the Twentieth Century - University Seminar" in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.

In this section, we explore the topic of explanation. For social scientists, this means focusing on causation. For example, if we pose the following question, “How do we account for the fact that ‘Hell happens…?” we automatically have to consider possible causes. Since one or more causes are possible, our choice of one over another constitutes an explanation. This bring up a second issue. How do issues of cause and effect become muddled as a result of different understandings of Hell? If I believe Hell means one thing and you believe it means something quite different, we are likely to identify different causes.

Part II: The Origins

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Image Four: TYRANTS, MURDERERS, AND MADMEN: “THE DEVIL’S DEEDS . . .”

Accessed from http://www.pbs.org/behindcloseddoors/biographies/stalin.htmlon 4/27/12. In the public domain

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Discussion: In this section, we discuss those explanations of Hell that focus on the role of individual human beings.

Reading:

Audio:

Assignment:

Image Five: STALIN’S TERROR: “A SELF-IMPOSED HELL . . . “
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Readings:

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Film: Richard Bugajski, “The Interrogation”

You may find Bugajski’s depiction of Stalinist terror agonizing. In my opinion, there is no way to sugar-coat the horrors of Stalinism. There is one especially disturbing scene.

Reading:

15 Film: Richard Bugajski, “The Interrogation”
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Discussion: Conclude discussion of Homage to Catalonia

Reading:

Image Six: TECHNOLOGY IS US: “A HELL OF YOUR OWN MAKING . . .”
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Discussion: Begin discussion of Brave New World.

Reading:

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Discussion: Conclude discussion of Brave New World.

Reading:

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Discussion: For this discussion, I recommend that you surf around a bit to acquire a very general understanding of the philosophical approach known as “utilitarianism.”

Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo. In the public domain

Reading:

20 Debate #2
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