Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 489–501 | Cite as

The Politics of Apology and Forgiveness

Article

Abstract

The politics of apologies and forgiveness is present in individual pastoral care and psychotherapy as well as in the broader context of the world in which we live. Forgiveness is a process that names harm and injustices while also offering possibilities for change, ultimately providing individuals, families, and communities with deeper and more profound ways of imagining relational justice. Such a perspective illuminates the ways in which harm and damage can be individual and systemic in nature, as well as how struggles over meaningful forgiveness are part of larger political realities. As one part of this process, apologies that account for the multiple ways power functions can assist individuals and communities in creating more justice-oriented forgiveness processes. Pastoral care specialists are wise to recognize that apologies and forgiveness always engage social, relational, political, and theological realities.

Keywords

Apology Forgiveness Process Victim Perpetrator Power Political Relational justice 

References

  1. Augsburger, D. W. (1996). Helping people forgive. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  2. Battle, M. (1997). Reconciliation: The ubuntu theology of Desmond Tutu. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press.Google Scholar
  3. Browning, R. L., & Reed, R. A. (2004). Forgiveness, reconciliation, and moral courage. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Dratch, M. (2002). Forgiving the unforgivable? Jewish insights into repentance and forgiveness. In M. M. Fortune & J. L. Marshall (Eds.), Forgiveness and abuse: Jewish and Christian reflections (pp. 7–24). New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  5. Enright, R. D., & Fitzgibbons, R. P. (2000). Helping clients forgive: An empirical guide for resolving anger and restoring hope. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gergen, K. (2009). Relational being: Beyond self and community. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gready, P. (2010). The era of transitional justice: The aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and beyond. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Holtham, J. (2009). Taking restorative justice to schools: A doorway to discipline. Colorado Springs: Homestead Press.Google Scholar
  9. Jones, G. (1995). Embodying forgiveness: A theological analysis. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  10. Kraybill, D., Nolt, S., & Weaver-Zercher, D. (2007). Amish grace: How forgiveness transcended tragedy. San Francisco: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Lazare, A. (2004). On apology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Marshall, J. (1999). Communal dimensions of forgiveness: learning from the life and death of Matthew Shepard. Journal of Pastoral Theology, 9, 49–62.Google Scholar
  13. Marshall, J. (2005). How can I forgive? A study of forgiveness. Nashville: Abingdon.Google Scholar
  14. McCullough, M. E., Pargament, K. I., & Thoresen, C. E. (Eds.). (2000). Forgiveness: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  15. Patton, J. (1985). Is human forgiveness possible? Nashville: Abingdon.Google Scholar
  16. Ptacek, J. (Ed.). (2010). Restorative justice and violence against women. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Shriver, D. W. (1995). An ethic for enemies: Forgiveness in politics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Spring, J. A. (2005). How can I forgive you? The courage to forgive, the freedom not to. New York: Harper Books.Google Scholar
  19. Steere, D. (2009). Rediscovering confessions: The practice of forgiveness and where it leads. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Taft, L. (2000). Apology subverted: the commodification of apology. Yale Law Journal, 109(5), 1135–1160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tutu, D. M. (1999). No future without forgiveness. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  22. Watts, F., & Gulliford, L. (2004). Forgiveness in context: Theology and psychology in creative dialogue. London: T&T Clark International.Google Scholar
  23. Wiesenthal, S. (1997). The sunflower: On the possibilities and limits of forgiveness. New York: Shocken Books.Google Scholar
  24. Worthington, E. J. (2009). A just forgiveness: Responsible healing without excusing injustice. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press.Google Scholar
  25. Zehr, H. (2005). Changing lenses: A new focus for crime and justice (3rd ed.). Scottdale: Herald Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brite Divinity SchoolFort WorthUSA

Personalised recommendations