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Science and forgiveness interventions: Reflections and recommendations

Harris, Alex H. S
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Dimensions of forgiveness: Psychological research & theological forgiveness, ed. Everett L. Worthington, Jr., 163-190. With a preface and an introduction by Everett L. Worthington, Jr. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

Thoresen, Luskin, and Harris bring a scientific perspective to bear on psychosocial interventions designed to foster forgiveness. They construe forgiveness in a psychosocial intervention view as a process of releasing negative thoughts, feelings, and reactions, as well as seeking more compassionate understanding of the offender. The authors note the longstanding significance of forgiveness in religions and cultures. They also note that forgiveness has emerged recently in more secular contexts. The helping professions have begun to consider forgiveness in relation to individual and social well being. This has led to the development of various interventions to foster forgiveness. The authors examine current research results on such interventions, and they recommend several steps and guidelines to improve the quality of future studies in forgiveness research.


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