Forgiveness and Culture: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue
Journal of History & Social Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 1, July-December 2010
9 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2011
Date Written: December 15, 2010
Forgiveness is a contested concept. Psychologists tend to separate it from the related process of reconciliation and to emphasize the intrapersonal aspects of the phenomenon. On the other hand theologians and philosophers see an important connection between forgiveness and reconciliation due to relational factors. Culture adds further complexity to the study of forgiveness in that it questions the universality of dominant understandings of the concept, developed from a Western perspective, which are based on individualist values by testing those understandings in a collectivist context. This brief essay concludes with a brief representative illustration of forgiveness in traditional Japanese villages.
Keywords: Forgiveness, Moral Philosophy, Interpersonal Aspects, Emic Analysis, Psychological Perspectives
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