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The Role of Forgiveness in Reconciliation.

Auerbach, Yehudith
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, ed., From conflict resolution to reconciliation. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 149-176.

Cases of collective forgiveness and apology between nations and peoples have become a noticeable trend in recent years. After briefly describing this phenomenon, Yehudith Auerbach notes the need for more research on the feasibility of forgiveness and its role in reconciliation between groups. Forgiveness adds a spiritual and moral aspect to the psychological process of reconciliation. It is necessary for complete reconciliation, which rarely occurs. The author provides a framework of seven conditions for the success of reconciliation via forgiveness. These involve the religious-cultural context, relation to national interests, power asymmetry, status of leaders, authenticity, time, and the international environment. Each factor is examined in light of the Israel-West Germany case, an example of partial forgiveness that resulted in incomplete reconciliation.


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