What is forgiveness? When is it appropriate? How is it encouraged or inhibited? Answering these questions one way rather than another can alter our lives and our relationships in dramatic ways. If we think that forgiveness is or involves a passion that we experience but over which we have little control, then we will respond to it differently than if we think forgiving is something we choose to do or refrain from doing. If we think forgiveness involves restoring a relationship, then we will treat it differently than if we think it merely a matter of managing our emotions. If we think forgiveness is something that must be earned or deserved then we will not even consider forgiving certain agents; whereas if we think it is something that can be freely given, then forgiving these agents may become a live option. Glen Pettigrove explores the nature and norms of forgiveness, drawing attention to important dimensions that have been neglected by other discussions of the topic. He highlights the significance of character, both of the forgiver and of the forgiven, for common perspectives on what forgiveness is and when it is appropriate.
Pettigrove explores the relationship between forgiving, understanding, and loving. And he revives a virtue that has too long been neglected: namely, grace.
Glen Pettigrove is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Auckland. He is the author of a number of articles in moral and political philosophy, and his work has appeared in leading journals including the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Religious Studies.
Acknowledgements ; Preface ; 1. I forgive you ; 2. The standing to forgive ; 3. Forgiveness and character ; 4. Understanding, excusing, forgiving ; 5. Forgiveness and love ; 6. Unapologetic forgiveness ; 7. Forgiveness and grace ; 8. Complications and Conditions ; References ; Index
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