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Document Details :
Title: The Difficult but Possible Path towards Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Author(s): BURGGRAEVE, Roger
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 41 Issue: 1 Date: 2018
In our present time, with its growing zero-tolerance for inflicted evil, power abuse and injustice, forgiveness and reconciliation are becoming increasingly important if misunderstood concepts. This article intends to depict what forgiveness among people implies and especially how it works. Therefore it starts by sketching what forgiveness certainly is not, namely those things from which it must be distinguished if one wants to avoid misunerstanding and futile discussions. Then the essential conditions on the path towards genuine inter-human forgiveness are developed: acknowledging and sharing the inflicted injury; judging and rectifying the inflicted injustice; learning to look differently at the guilty one; and last but not least, discovering the liberating power of forgiveness. Both the distinction and the connection between forgiveness and reconciliation receive explicit attention. But, without neglecting the conditionality of forgiveness, namely confession, restoration and purification, its unconditional character is also explained and illustrated. This makes it possible to conclude with a perspective on God’s forgiveness and on religious reconciliation.