Dimensions of Forgiveness: Psychological Research and Theological Perspectives

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Overview

The scientific study of forgiveness is a new approach to an age-old problem. For thousands of years, people have practiced forgiveness within religious systems. Now, the field of scholarly research of forgiveness reveals the beneficial aspects of the process.

Contributors include Elliot Dorff and Martin Marty discussing religious interpretations, followed by social implications explained by Kenneth Pargament and Mark Rye. Roy Baumeister, Julie Exline, and Kristin Sommer present the victim's point of view. Other contributors focusing on the forgiveness research are: Everett Worthington, Robert Enright, Catherine Coyle, Carl Thoresen, Frederic Luskin, and Alex Harris. An annotated bibliography by Michael McCullough, Julie Exline, and Roy Baumeister, covers the empirical literature on the subject. Lewis Smedes concludes with the four steps necessary for forgiveness: moving from estrangement to forgiveness to reconciliation to hope.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The flames of violence engulfing the world have prompted social scientists to look for fresh solutions, one of which is forgiveness. Although theologians and philosophers have written much on the subject, social scientists subjected it to "benign neglect" until 1985, when some empirical research began. This is a collection of papers from a symposium convened to define the field and lay the foundation for future research. It is a strong first volume in a series intended to explore how "positive mind-set and virtues enhance the lives of individuals and, ultimately, the well-being of society." The first two papers define forgiveness in terms of Christianity and Judaism; the final paper redefines it from a secular standpoint. In addition to studies on forgiveness as a basic social process, two papers consider future research. A large, admirably annotated bibliography on forgiveness and related subjects is included. The authors are major contributors in the field, and they have succeeded admirably in their mandate.--Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890151225
  • Publisher: Templeton Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Series: Laws of Life Symposia Series
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Everett Worthington Jr. has dedicated his life to the study and teaching of marriage and family-related topics.

He is a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and has taught at the Universityrsquo;s American Psychological Association-accredited psychology (counseling) program for almost twenty years. A prolific writer and producer of multimedia resources, Dr. Worthington has published twelve books on marriage and family topics and has several others in press or under contract. Additionally, he has published over one hundred chapters or papers in refereed journals and has produced numerous videotapes and audiotapes. Dr. Worthington has won national recognition for his research and teaching and is frequently requested as a speaker before national audiences.

He has provided over one hundred convention presentations and colloquia and has given over fifty presentations at professional workshops and conferences, mostly on marital therapy and enrichment. No stranger to the media, Dr. Worthington and his work have been featured on numerous television and radio programs, newspapers and magazines. He is also a member of nearly ten professional organizations.

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