© 2001

Evil Children in Religion, Literature, and Art


Part of the Cross-Currents in Religion and Culture book series (CCRC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 1-11
  3. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 12-35
  4. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 56-81
  5. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 82-101
  6. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 102-124
  7. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 125-144
  8. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 145-174
  9. Eric Ziolkowski
    Pages 175-188
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 189-253

About this book


Evil Children in Religion, Literature and Art explores the genesis, development, and religious significance of a literary and iconographic motif, involving a gang of urchins, usually male, who mock or assault a holy or eccentric person, typically an adult. Originating in the biblical tale of Elisha's mockery (2 Kings 2.23-24), this motif recurs in literature, hagiography, and art, from antiquity up to our own time, strikingly defying the conventional Judeo-Christian and Romantic image of the child as a symbol of innocence.

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Lafayette CollegeUSA

About the authors

ERIC ZIOLKOWSKI is Professor of Religion at Lafayette College. He is author of The Santification of Don Quixote: From Hildago to Priest and editor of A Museum of Faiths: Histories and Legacies of the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions. In 1997 he was elected as a Life Fellow in the Society of the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture.

Bibliographic information


'...thoughtful treatment of the deeply ambivalent, conflict-ridden relationship between children and adults.' - Kelly Bulkeley, Journal of Religion