To the tabloid press, Myra Hindley was the epitome of "evil", irredeemable and fit only to be locked up forever; her death raises the question of what we mean by the word. In this three-parter, crime novelist Ian Rankin takes a break from the fictional wrongdoing that so fascinates us and explores how our notions of real evil have changed with time. He starts with the various understandings that theologians, philosophers, psychologists, criminals and victims have of badness. How does evil challenge a belief in a good God? Is the idea of the Devil a convenient way of absolving God - or humankind - from responsibility? Though the message is not one of seasonal cheer, this is a series that should provide material for thoughts on religion and RE.
Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. C4, Saturday, November 30, 7.05-8.05pm
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