Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Responding to Evil: A Philosophical Overview
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 5, Pp. 1353-1366, June 2000
Posted: 2 Aug 2000
This essay, a transcript of a keynote address given in February 2000 at the Fordham Law School Symposium on Forgiveness and the Law, seeks to define forgiveness (in part by distinguishing it from excuse, justification, mercy, and reconciliation), to argue that hasty forgiveness may undermine legitimate self respect and respect for the moral order, and then to argue that under many circumstances forgiveness is the preferred moral option for dealing with wrongdoers--particularly if those wrongdoers are repentant. It is argued, however, that repentance should not always be demanded as a condition for forgiveness. The essay closes with a discussion of the relationships between forgiveness and Christianity.
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