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Assistant professor publishes book about meaning of 'evil'

Matthew Boedy book cover
Dr. Matthew Boedy, UNG assistant professor of English, has released an academic book titled "Speaking of Evil: Rhetoric and the Responsibility to and for Language."

Dr. Matthew Boedy, assistant professor of English at the University of North Georgia (UNG), has released an academic book titled "Speaking of Evil: Rhetoric and the Responsibility to and for Language,"  which was published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Boedy hopes to help those who read the book learn different ways of talking about evil, not just seeing it as something that is external but a phenomenon we all must confront.

"Evil freezes our words, convinces us we have the sole right to their definitions, and generally stifles the dynamic gift of language," according to a description of the book on its publisher's website. "By looking at how people in different eras and situations have named evil, this book suggests how we can better take responsibility for our words and why we owe a responsibility to language as our ethical stance toward evil."

Boedy's travels to Holocaust sites were part of what inspired the book.

Chapters are devoted to Sept. 11, World War II, ancient Greece, and the fall of man in Genesis 3.

Boedy seeks to explore the meaning of evil in those contexts. Boedy noted simply saying the word "evil" cannot fully encapsulate how bad Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were.

"Evil is sort of the end of the road. Once you call something evil, that's not really any further that you can go," Boedy said.

Boedy previously self-published a novel titled Murder Creek.

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