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Wounds Not Healed By TimeThe Power of Repentance and Forgiveness$
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Solomon Schimmel

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195128413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195128419.001.0001

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The Essence of Forgiveness

The Essence of Forgiveness

Chapter:
(p.40) Two The Essence of Forgiveness
Source:
Wounds Not Healed By Time
Author(s):

Solomon Schimmel (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195128419.003.0003

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

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