Forgiveness in Context: Theology and Psychology in Creative Dialogue
March 23, 2017
Published by T & T Clark International, 2004
Forgiveness has been widely regarded as a purely religious construct. However, recently it has been advocated in many different secular contexts as offering a therapy and a healthy release from negative feelings. There’s a growing body of psychological literature on the long-neglected subject of forgiveness.
Forgiveness in Context represents a comprehensive volume dealing with a whole range of contextual issues in which forgiveness may be embedded, and continues to address the idealism which has sometimes influenced discussions on the subject. The book engages on both psychological and theological levels in a sustained dialogue that weaves them together.
Author Fraser Watts comments:
“Forgiveness is such an important subject. Without it, human problems fester, both between individuals and nations. It is perhaps the most important practical contribution that religion has made to general human living.
I was born in Coventry, soon after WWII, one of the most bomb-damaged cities in Britain. It could easily have led to hostility to Germany, but thanks to some inspirational Christian leadership, Coventry chose a path of forgiveness, and is now officially a ‘city of peace and reconciliation’. It taught me a lot about the importance of forgiveness.
The recent focus on forgiveness in psychology is a very exciting development. Forgiveness (like mindfulness) has largely migrated from the secular to the religious worlds. But there is still very little work bringing the religious and secular approaches into dialogue, so they can learn from each other. That is what this book focuses on.”
1. Forgiveness: Relating Psychology and Theology. Fraser Watts
2: Forgiveness and Repentance in Judaism. Solomon Schimmel
3: Early Christian Thinking. Anthony and Melanie Bash
4: Christian Theology. Fraser Watts
5: Forgiveness and Liturgy. Roger Grainger
6: Intrapersonal Forgiveness. Elizabeth Gulliford
7: The Healing of Relationships. Elizabeth Gulliford
8: The Capacity for Forgiveness. Mary Anne Coate
9: Forgiveness in Challenging Circumstances. Stephen Burns
10: Forgiveness in the Socio-Political Sphere. Stephen Cherry