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Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Social Reconstruction After Trauma

  • Everett L. WorthingtonJr
  • Jamie D. Aten
Chapter

Abstract

We examine social reconstruction after human-caused trauma – with a focus on warfare, civil disquiet, or conflict. Specifically, we examine the roles of forgiveness and reconciliation in social reconstruction. Forgiveness promotes both trustworthy and trusting behavior, which can lead to reconciliation. Forgiveness and reconciliation help heal past memories, restore present trust, and thus pave the way for breaking future cycles of trauma. Forgiveness and reconciliation happen in the present but affect the future. They arise from the crucible of conflict and trauma in which people’s hopes can be squashed. Yet, forgiveness and reconciliation can also renew crushed spirits, which can lead not only to inner peace within an individual but to peace within a country torn apart by conflict. We suggest a model of aggression and related model of peacemaking and reconciliation. We also offer a series of societal and diplomacy recommendations that are meant to facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation following social traumas.

Keywords

Opinion Leader Truth Commission Societal Structure Mass Killing Reconciliation Commission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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