Repentance & Reconciliation

Solomon Schimmel

in Wounds Not Healed By Time

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195128413
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834648 | DOI:
Repentance & Reconciliation

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This chapter discusses the role that repentance can play in reconciliation between criminals and their victims, and between religious and ethnic groups that have experienced major, violent conflicts in which gross injustices have been committed. The ways in which repentance can facilitate reconciliation are illustrated and analyzed with respect to rehabilitated criminals, the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, Palestinian and other Arabs and Israeli Jews, and white Americans and African‐Americans. The importance in Judaism of reintegrating the repentant sinner back into the community is one model of how society in general, and groups, should treat perpetrators of evil and injustice who have undergone an authentic and transformative process of repentance. The chapter discusses ways of assessing the sincerity and durability of repentance, and the advantages to society and to groups in conflict of responding positively to overtures of reconciliation.

Keywords: African‐Americans; Arabs; Catholic; criminals; Israeli; Jews; Palestinian; racism; rehabilitation

Chapter.  16879 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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