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On the Ambiguity of Forgiveness

Jesson, Stuart (2014) On the Ambiguity of Forgiveness. Philosophy and Theology, 26 (1). 131 -150.

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Abstract

This article highlights some of the difficulties that accompany any attempt to articulate an understanding of forgiveness that is at once coherent, just and desirable.
Through a close examination of Charles Griswold’s book Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration, I suggest that there are good reasons to think that forgiveness is intrinsically ambiguous, both conceptually and morally. I argue that there is an underlying tension between the concerns that shape the definition, and those that are invoked when affirming the good of forgiveness. Using Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, I then provide some commentary concerning this ambiguity and make some brief suggestions about how this ambiguity might be theologically fruitful.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/philtheol20143126
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1600

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