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In our culture the belief that "To err is human, to forgive divine," is so prevalent that few of us question its wisdom. But do we ever completely forgive those who have betrayed us? Aren't some actions unforgivable? Can we achieve closure and healing without forgiving? Drawing on more than two decades of work as a practicing psychotherapist, more than fifty indepth interviews, and sterling research into the concept of forgiveness in our society, Dr. Jeanne Safer challenges popular opinion with her own searching answers to these and other questions. The result is a penetrating look at what is often a lonely, and perhaps unnecessary, struggle to forgive those who have hurt us the most and an illuminating examination of how to determine whether forgiveness is, indeed, the best path to take--and why, often, it is not.
For psychologists and psychotherapists, the notion of forgiveness has been enjoying a substantial vogue. For their patients, it holds the promise of "moving on" and healing emotional wounds. The forgiveness of others - and of one's self - would seem to offer the kind of peace that psychotherapy alone has never been able to provide. In this volume, psychologist Sharon Lamb and philosopher Jeffrie Murphy argue that forgiveness has been accepted as a therapeutic strategy without serious, critical examination. They intend this volume to be a closer, critical look at some of these questions: why is forgiveness so popular now? What exactly does it entail? When might it be appropriate for a therapist not to advise forgiveness? When is forgiveness in fact harmful? Lamb and Murphy have collected many previously-unpublished chapters by both philosophers and psychologists that examine what is at stake for those who are injured, those who injure them, and society in general when such a practice becomes commonplace. Some chapters offer cautionary tales about forgiveness therapy, while others paint complex portraits of the social, cultural, and philosophical factors that come into play with forgiveness. The value of this volume lies not only in its presentation of a nuanced view of this therapeutic trend, but also as a general critique of psychotherapy, and as a valuable testimony of the theoretical and practical possibilities in an interdisciplinary collaboration between philosophy and clinical psychology.
Describing forgiveness as a Judeo-Christian imperative, the author explores betrayal and honesty while questioning the appropriateness of unconditional forgiveness
Whenever anything goes wrong our first instinct is often to find someone to blame. Blame infuses our society in myriad ways, seeding rancor and revenge, dividing lovers, coworkers, communities, and nations. Yet blame, appropriately placed and managed, safeguards moral order and legal culpability. In this book, Stephen Fineman explores this duality inherent in blame, taking us on a fascinating journey across blame’s sometimes bitter—sometimes just—landscape. Fineman focuses on blame’s roots and enduring manifestations, from the witch hunts of the past to today’s more buttoned-up scapegoating and stigmatization; from an individual’s righteous anger to entire cultures shaped by its power. Addressing our era of increasing unease about governance in public and private enterprises, he delves behind the scenes of organizations infected with blame, profiling the people who keep its plates spinning. With a critical eye, he examines the vexing issue of public accountability and the political circus that so often characterizes our politicians and corporations lost in their “blame games.” Ultimately, Fineman raises the challenging question of how we might mitigate blame’s corrosive effects, asking crucial and timely questions about the limits of remorse and forgiveness, the role of state apologies for historical wrongdoings, whether restorative justice can work, and many other topics. An absorbing look at something we all know intimately, this book deepens our understanding of blame and how it shapes our lives.
'I can't decide what to do with your ashes. It's been nearly a year now...This is not forgiveness. Don't think that.' ..A gripping and controversial psychological drama from acclaimed author, Celia Rees.
Forgiveness is the distinctive Christian virtue. But, the most difficult command to practice. Forgiveness is easier to say than to do. Forgiveness: A Lovely Idea Until . . . provides clarity to what forgiveness looks like; compelling reasons why we should forgive; and the proper steps to know we have forgiven. For those people trapped in bitterness, anger, and hatred, this book uncovers the release. Forgiveness will free you from a painful past and propel you into a future of joy and freedom. Reflecting on a hurtful event that could have destroyed him, Rick Ezell presents a thorough understanding of forgiveness’ power. He shows the process that led him to forgive. Though it was not easy and it did take time, the result was worth it. He has gathered a gold mine of truth and in a concise form that will guide your forgiveness journey.
"If we harbor thoughts of violence or hatred, or seek revenge or retribution, we are contributing to the wounding of the world; if we transform those thoughts into forgiveness and compassion, and then move beyond them to actually make amends or restitution, we are contributing to the healing of the world. This timely, powerful and compassionate book helps show us the way." —Deepak Chopra "Nothing will help us survive the present age more than breaking the tragic cycles of violence and revenge that threaten our very existence. To do so, we must honor our soul's desire for deeper forms of reconciliation, a process that Phil Cousineau reveals here as being on the other side of forgiveness, in the ancient ritual of atonement. His book is a profoundly important contribution to the healing of the world, and I give it my blessing." —Robert A. Johnson, author of Transformation, Inner Work and Owning Your Own Shadow As indispensable as forgiveness has been to the healing process throughout history, there is another equally profound action that is needed for ultimate reconciliation, which Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, calls “the other side of the coin.” Turning over the coin of forgiveness, we discover atonement, the half-hidden, much-overlooked other half of the reconciliation process. Beyond Forgiveness shows how acts of atonement—making amends, providing restitution, restoring balance—can relieve us of the pain of the past and give us a hopeful future. This rich and powerful book includes 15 thoughtful contributions by high-profile thinkers and activists including Huston Smith, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Azim Khamisa, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jacob Needleman, Michael Nagler, Diane Hennacy Powell, James O’Dea, Arun Gandhi, Kate Dahlstedt, Ed Tick, Richard J. Meyer, Rev. Heng Sure, Douglas George-Kanentiio and Katharine Dever. Atonement is put forward as a process that we must all learn to practice—from individuals to nations—if we are to heal our wounds and move forward.

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