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Afterword: Exploring the unique role of forgiveness

Ellis, George F. R
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Forgiveness and reconciliation: Religion, public policy, & conflict transformation, ed. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., and Rodney L. Petersen, 385-400. With a foreword by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

In this concluding essay to the book, Ellis remarks that forgiveness is not an abstract concept but a real force with practical effects in family, social, and political life. At the same time, forgiveness is not easy in the face of wrongdoing, whether comparatively banal or truly horrendous. On these bases, Ellis explores the nature and significance of forgiveness and reconciliation through a series of questions. Why is forgiveness important in the modern world and for its future? How has forgiveness been important in reconciliative peacemaking in the past? What do systematic study and research have to do with forgiveness and reconciliation? Why would visionary people want to join together for the cause of forgiveness and reconciliation? Through these questions Ellis emphasizes the significance of forgiveness and reconciliation in the entire range of human relations, and he advocates for further study and application of them.


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