The Essence of Forgiveness

Solomon Schimmel

in Wounds Not Healed By Time

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195128413
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834648 | DOI:
The Essence of Forgiveness

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Defines forgiveness, and contrasts it with related concepts, namely, to condone, to excuse, to justify, to exonerate, to forget, to atone, and to reconcile, providing concrete examples of each of these. Forgiveness can be an internal, therapeutic process of letting go of anger and resentment, or an interpersonal one of forgoing legal and/or moral claims the victim of an injury has on a perpetrator. The chapter compares and contrasts the views of Judaism and Christianity on whether a victim is morally obligated to forgive a perpetrator when the perpetrator does not repent of his or her misdeed. The trait of “forgivingness” is discussed and the relationship of the tendency to forgive with personality characteristics of being prone to guilt and to shame.

Keywords: atone; Christianity; condone; excuse; forgiveness; guilt; Judaism; repentance; shame; trait

Chapter.  9075 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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