This chapter analyzes in depth the practice of forgiveness. It begins by confronting criticisms of this controversial practice. Next it sets forth five stories of forgiveness as actually practiced in the political realm. Then follows an exploration of what forgiveness is and what its practice involves. The heart of the chapter is a defense of forgiveness as a practice that reflects the ethic of political reconciliation. How forgiveness furthers the justice of reconciliation is shown through a description of its primary restorations and secondary restorations. The chapter explores questions and moral dilemmas centering on forgiveness. It then shows how forgiveness is rooted in religious traditions. Finally, it explores particular problems that pertain to forgiveness in the political realm.
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