The Evil Imagination: Understanding and Resisting Destructive Forces

Author(s) : Roger Kennedy

The Evil Imagination: Understanding and Resisting Destructive Forces

Book Details

  • Publisher : Phoenix Publishing House
  • Published : 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 228
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 96687
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912691296
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912691

Reviews and Endorsements

'Roger Kennedy brings wide-ranging perspectives to describe and understand this very difficult and compelling subject. History, philosophy, religion, morality, neuroscience, primatology, psychology, and other disciplines are brought together as well as refracted through psychoanalytic understandings. Human destructiveness is not a direct consequence of our animal instincts, nor is it innate. Rather, evil is a consequence of being human as he observes that our species "annihilates the human subject and obliterates human agency". This is a tough and compelling read in resisting our species' vicious destructiveness.' - Dr Jonathan Sklar, training analyst, British Psychoanalytical Society.

'Dr Roger Kennedy worked as a Consultant Family Psychiatrist in the NHS at the famous Cassel Hospital in London for almost thirty years and was an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at Imperial College London. He has written widely on psychoanalysis and families at breaking point. His new book, The Evil Imagination, is a fascinating and ambitious exploration of one of the great subjects of our time: evil. One of the most thoughtful psychoanalytic thinkers of our time, Dr Kennedy asks what leads people to commit evil acts and how can we use the latest psychoanalytic thinking to make sense of evil?' - David Herman, writer and former TV producer of programmes on psychoanalysis and the history of madness.

'We find ourselves surrounded by such an abundance of expressed evil that our own imaginations are drowned out by the lived atrocities. Roger Kennedy alerts us to the megalomania that has permitted humans to comfortably annihilate the other - body and culture - and how this is a leitmotif of the mass atrocities of both the past and present. We find some measure of comfort in his book through his illustrating how we can transform rage into scholarship, sorrow into insight, and helplessness into teaching. The Holocaust serves as the representative evil of our species. In immersing ourselves in Kennedy's masterful yet accessible collection of groundbreaking neuroscience, uplifting poetry, and insight-providing psychoanalytic perspectives, we are able to use the best of who we are in order to honourably encounter the worst of who we are. In reading Kennedy's book, I feel redoubled in my efforts to unpack the obstructions to the good-enough affects in each of us. This, so that we will contain a counterweight to our destructiveness and thereby perhaps, just perhaps, we may survive.' - Harvey Schwartz, training and supervising analyst, Psychoanalytic Association of New York; host of the IPA podcast, Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Sign up for our new titles email   Sign up to our postal mailing list   Sign up for postal updates