Renarrating the False Dichotomy Between "Thoughts and Prayers" and Action in the Aftermath of Tragedy

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Danner, Kelly, Religious Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Geddes, Jennifer, AS-Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Bouchard, Larry, AS-Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Renarrating the false binary between thoughts and prayers, on the one hand, and action, on the other, in the aftermath of tragedy, this thesis posits the importance of both thoughts and prayers and action in response to evil and suffering. As shown by the contrast between thoughtlessness and thoughtfulness as well as between thoughtless action and thoughtful action, thoughts and prayers help prevent indifference, inaction, and thoughtless action that causes more harm than good. When done in good faith—when offered sincerely with true intent and not as a substitute for further action—thoughts and prayers prove meaningful, practical, and necessary in response to evil and suffering because thoughtful compassion and thoughtful action help to alleviate and prevent harm.

MA (Master of Arts)
Action, Compassion, Evil, Indifference, Suffering, Thought, Hannah Arendt, Elie Wiesel
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