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The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

5.0 1
by Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.

Tutu's role as the Chair of the


Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.

Tutu's role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Each of us has a deep need to forgive and to be forgiven. After much reflection on the process of forgiveness, Tutu has seen that there are four important steps to healing: Admitting the wrong and acknowledging the harm; Telling one's story and witnessing the anguish; Asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness; and renewing or releasing the relationship. Forgiveness is hard work. Sometimes it even feels like an impossible task. But it is only through walking this fourfold path that Tutu says we can free ourselves of the endless and unyielding cycle of pain and retribution. The Book of Forgiving is both a touchstone and a tool, offering Tutu's wise advice and showing the way to experience forgiveness. Ultimately, forgiving is the only means we have to heal ourselves and our aching world.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 02/15/2014
No one, perhaps, now stands in higher esteem in the world as a spiritual leader than Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a former archbishop. This book, his second collaboration with his daughter Mpho, follows on from his previous accounts of his life and his work with the commission but amounts to a guide to practical sainthood and a how-to on forgiveness. Forgiveness ought to be simple but is all but impossible for most, even in small things; the Tutus's recipe restores its simplicity. VERDICT Desmond Tutu's moral authority alone makes his books worth reading; this volume more than repays that trust with its deep wisdom. Churches and businesses will benefit from this—and so should governments.
Publishers Weekly
★ 01/20/2014
Though ostensibly retired from public life, Nobel Peace Prize–winner and emeritus archbishop Desmond Tutu still has much to say. His newest book on forgiveness in some ways extends and applies the lessons of his pathbreaking No Future Without Forgiveness (1999). Both books draw on his experience heading South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but this is freshly informed with experiences that include smaller slights and insults as well as more traumatic wrongs, among them the murder of the housekeeper of Mpho Tutu, daughter of Desmond Tutu. The father-daughter pair relate stories but also include instructions on how to forgive, as well as scientific and moral reasons to do so. No one is unforgiveable; it takes a moral icon such as Tutu to credibly assert this. The book may get a boost from the recent death of Nelson Mandela, about whom Tutu says, “It took 27 years for him to be transformed from an angry, unforgiving young radical into an icon of reconciliation…” This book belongs on nightstands, shelves, and altars everywhere. Agent: Lynn Franklin, Lynn C. Franklin Associates. (Apr.)
Deepak Chopra
“A primer for not only finding the path for healing ourselves and the world, but for restoring balance in our biology, mind, and spirit.”
Walter Brueggemann
“What better guides and teachers on forgiveness than Bishop Tutu and his daughter who have lived faithfully through the hardest most demanding days of South Africa! This book meets an urgent need among us, and does so with wisdom, realism, and generosity.”
Nelson Mandela
“Desmond Tutu shows each of us how to transform our pain and sorrow into hope and confidence in the future. Whether you are the head of a country or the head of a household, you will cherish his words.”
Krista Tippett
“There is no one who embodies the virtue of forgiveness like Desmond Tutu. With this book, he and his daughter take forgiveness out of the realm of mystery and offer a handbook on forgiveness, revealing this most exacting and freeing of human capacities in all its complexity and transformative achievability.”
Annie Lennox
“Bishop Tutu and his daughter Mpho reveal groundbreaking insights as to how to acknowledge and resolve our lifelong burdens of anguish and pain towards a new paradigm of transformative healing.”
Terry Waite
“I am lost for words to express my appreciation for this book … Desmond Tutu and his daughter show clearly that suffering, while always painful, need not destroy.”
Dalai Lama
“I have the highest regard for my good and trusted friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I admire him for the wonderful, warm person he is and especially for the human principles he upholds.”
Jimmy Carter
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before him, has offered us a luminous vision of love and hope. With his great warmth and compassion, Archbishop Tutu offers a spiritual message that if heeded can change lives as well as history.”
Thomas Cahill
“I doubt there is anyone on this Earth with a deeper sense of God’s presence and goodness than Archbishop Tutu.”
Mary Robinson
“Desmond Tutu has walked the talk all his adult life. We can all be grateful that, together with his daughter Mpho, he has now shared his secrets for why he has so much hope and joy.”
Bill Clinton
“Archbishop Tutu has the ability to see our shared humanity in each person he meets, and to get us to do the same.”
“[Tutu’s] unofficial legacy will be his life and the story of how this tiny pastor with a huge laugh from South Africa became our global guardian.”
President Barack Obama
“For decades [Tutu] has been a moral titan—a voice of principle, an unrelenting champion of justice, and a dedicated peacemaker . . . an outspoken voice for freedom and justice in countries across the globe; a staunch defender of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.”
Kofi Annan
“One thing I have learned from [Tutu] . . . is that he has that constant and persistent faith that things can be better and we can do something about it. We should not find excuses not to act or not to speak out.”
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
“[Tutu] was not just an anti-apartheid worker. . . . He was somebody who had thought very deeply about spiritual values and had applied them to what he was doing. In some ways that reminded me of Gandhi.”
Kirkus Reviews
A practical call for forgiveness from people who learned it the hard way. Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Anglican archbishop Tutu (God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations, 2011, etc.) teams up with his daughter, Mpho, also an Anglican priest, to advance the cause of forgiveness. Their work stems from a shared past steeped in South Africa's apartheid system. Mpho's experience is also informed by a personal tragedy: the murder of her family's housekeeper. For both authors, forgiveness has been a lifelong struggle, yet one which they both embrace and endorse. "There is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness," they write. Indeed, one of the authors' important points is that all people feel pain, and no one hurts another without having been a victim at some earlier point. They acknowledge that forgiveness is not easy; however, they are convinced that forgiveness offers peace, healing and an opening to a productive future. They guide readers through a "Fourfold Path" of forgiveness: telling the story, naming the hurt, granting forgiveness, and renewing or releasing the relationship. They also provide focus for individuals in need of another's forgiveness and those who need to forgive themselves. The book is almost entirely practical in focus, geared toward helping people come to grips with issues of anger, grief and loss. It includes meditations, rituals and journal exercises after each chapter. While potentially useful, the text is lightweight in relation to some of the examples of superhuman forgiveness punctuating the work—victims of grave crimes pardoning those who have caused such anguish. There is a disconnect between the gravitas of the surname Tutu in relationship to what is basically a self-help book. Tutu's No Future Without Forgiveness (1999) is a far weightier and more worthy discussion of the topic.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In 1986 he was elected archbishop of Cape Town, the highest position in the Anglican Church in South Africa. In 1994, after the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, Tutu was appointed as chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate apartheid-era crimes. His policy of forgiveness and reconciliation has become an international example of conflict resolution and a trusted method of postconflict reconstruction. He is currently the chair of The Elders, where he gives vocal defense of human rights and campaigns for the oppressed.

The Reverend Mpho A. Tutu is currently the executive director of The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

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The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
kwbm More than 1 year ago
Intelligent response to a hurtful world. Life changing world view of ourselves and others.