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Author: A. James McAdams
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.

We will explore this troubled century of Hell by focusing on four themes:

  • The experience of Hell.
  • Contending theories of Hell’s origins.
  • The moral implications of Hell, and finally,
  • The problem of dealing with Hell.

To address these themes, we will draw upon ten widely recognized images of Hell.  These are World War I; the Holocaust; existentialism; tyranny and madness; totalitarianism; technological imperialism; moral confusion; nihilism; poverty; and terrorism.

Links to each of the four themes contain daily discussions, readings and related resources:

THE EXPERIENCE
Image One: WORLD WAR I: “WAR IS HELL . . .”
Image Two: THE HOLOCAUST:  “A LIVING HELL . . ."
Image Three: LIFE ITSELF:  “LIFE IS HELL . . .”
THE ORIGINS
Image Four: TYRANTS, MURDERERS, AND MADMEN:  “THE DEVIL’S DEEDS . . .”
Image Five: STALIN’S TERROR: “A SELF-IMPOSED HELL . . . “
THE THREAT
Image Six: TECHNOLOGY IS US:  “A HELL OF YOUR OWN MAKING . . .”
Image Seven: PRONOUNCEMENTS AND THREATS:  “GO TO HELL . . . !”
Image Eight:  A WORLD WITHOUT HELL: “NO HELL BENEATH US . . .”
THE CHALLENGE
Image Nine: POVERTY:  “AMERICA’S HELL ON EARTH”
Image Ten: TERRORISM AND TORTURE:  “GIVE ‘EM HELL!”
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