Wounds Not Healed by Time: The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 265 pages
How should we respond to injuries done to us and to the hurts that we inflict on others? In this thoughtful book, Wounds Not Healed By Time, Solomon Schimmel guides us through the meanings of justice, forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation. In doing so, he probes to the core of the human encounter with evil, drawing on religious traditions, psychology, philosophy, and the personal experiences of both perpetrators and of victims.
Christianity, Judaism and Islam call for forgiveness and repentance in our relations with others. Yet, as Schimmel points out, there are significant differences between them as to when and whom to forgive. Is forgiving always more moral than refusing to forgive? Is it ever immoral to forgive? When is repentance a pre-condition for forgiveness, and what does repentance entail? Schimmel explores these questions in diverse contexts, ranging from conflicts in a marriage and personal slights we experience every day to enormous crimes such as the Holocaust. He applies insights on forgiveness and repentance to the Middle East, post-apartheid South Africa, inter-religious relationships, and the criminal justice system.
In Wounds Not Healed By Time, Schimmel also provides practical strategies to help us forgive and repent, preparing the way for healing and reconciliation between individuals and groups. "It is my belief," Schimmel concludes, "that the best balm for the resentment, rage, guilt, and shame engendered by human evil lies in finding the proper balance between justice, repentance, and forgiveness."
 

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Wounds not healed by time: the power of repentance and forgiveness

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As a nation and as individuals, we all struggle with questions of forgiveness and vengeance. Schimmel (Jewish education & psychology, Hebrew Coll.; The Seven Deadly Sins) uses the teachings of Judaism ... Read full review

Contents

Revenge Justice
13
The Essence of Forgiveness
40
Why When to Forgive
61
How to Forgive
89
Forgiving Oneself Forgiving God
121
The Essence of Repentance
141
Repentance Reconciliation
182
The South African Experience
220
NOTES
227
BIBLIOGRAPHY
251
INDEX OF NAMES
259
INDEX OF SUBJECTS
261
Copyright

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About the author (2002)


Solomon Schimmel is Professor of Jewish Education and Psychology at Hebrew College, in Newton, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Seven Deadly Sins: Jewish, Christian, and Classical Reflections on Human Psychology.

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