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Forgiveness and Justice in a Secular Polity

Breyfogle, Todd
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Reviews in Religion and Theology. 6(2): 133.

Writing in the late 1990s, Todd Breyfogle observes that the language of repentance, forgiveness, and atonement has achieved remarkable and surprising currency in American political discourse. What does this language mean in a secular age? From whom is forgiveness sought? Who pronounces forgiveness? By what ritual means is forgiveness confirmed? Breyfogle, exploring these and other questions and issues, laments the superficial discussion and “theologizingâ€? about repentance, forgiveness, and atonement in American social and political discourse. In the course of his discussion, he reflects on the American context in comparison with the work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


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