In this book, eminent scholars of classical antiquity and ancient and medieval Judaism and Christianity explore the nature and place of forgiveness in the pre-modern Western world. They discuss whether the concept of forgiveness, as it is often understood today, was absent, or at all events more restricted in scope than has been commonly supposed, and what related ideas (such as clemency or reconciliation) may have taken the place of forgiveness. An introductory chapter reviews the conceptual territory of forgiveness and illuminates the potential breadth of the idea, enumerating the important questions a theory of the subject should explore. The following chapters examine forgiveness in the contexts of classical Greece and Rome; the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and Moses Maimonides; and the New Testament, the Church Fathers, and Thomas Aquinas.
Charles L. Griswold is Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Among his books are Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration (Cambridge University Press 2007), Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press 1999), Self-knowledge in Plato's Phaedrus (1986) and an edited volume, Platonic Writings, Platonic Readings (1988). He also serves on the editorial advisory boards of Ancient Philosophy, Theoria and the International Journal of the Classical Tradition. David Konstan is Professor of Classics at New York University and Emeritus Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Brown University. His most recent books include Forgiveness: The Origins of a Moral Idea (Cambridge University Press 2010) and 'A Life Worthy of the Gods': The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus (2008). He was president of the American Philological Association in 1999 and serves on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals.
Preface Charles L. Griswold; Part I. The Territory Philosophically Considered: 1. What is forgiveness? Adam Morton; Part II. Forgiveness among the Greeks: 2. Assuaging rage: remorse, repentance and forgiveness in the classical world David Konstan; 3. Achilles, Psammenitus and Antigone: forgiveness in Homer and beyond Page duBois; 4. All in the family: forgiveness and reconciliation in new comedy Kathryn Gutzwiller; Part III. Forgiveness among the Romans: 5. The anger of tyrants and the forgiveness of kings Susanna M. Braund; 6. Gender and forgiveness in the early Roman empire Kristina Milnor; 7. 'To forgive is divine': gods as models of forgiveness in late republican and early imperial Rome Zsuzsanna Varhelyi; Part IV. Judaic and Christian Forgiveness: 8. Mercy, repentance, and forgiveness in ancient Judaism Michael L. Morgan; 9. A man had two sons: the question of forgiveness in Luke 15 Peter S. Hawkins; 10. Jesus' conditional forgiveness Jennifer W. Knust; 11. Forgiveness in patristic philosophy: the importance of repentance and the centrality of grace Ilaria L. E. Ramelli; 12. Forgiveness and perfection: Maimonides, Aquinas, and medieval departures from Aristotle Jonathan Jacobs.