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Thebes Revisited: Theodicy and the Temporality of Evil

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This essay gives a close reading of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex in light of Schelling's discussion of theodicy as teleology. The article raises the question of the connection between ethics and time, and it argues that ethical categories are really temporal ones, so much so that it would make little sense to posit a choice between good and evil as if there were two simultaneous options. Instead, the story of Oedipus shows us how Thebes is always to precede if one is to reach Colonus, that evil precedes and enables the good.

Affiliations: 1: College of the Holy Cross

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