Welcome to the Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries project home page. This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference, research and publishing project aims to explore the nature, significance, and practices of forgiveness. Asking for or granting forgiveness can often be a routine part of everyday life, but the nature of forgiveness as both a personal practice, a social practice and even an international practice can be extremely complex that raises a wide variety of questions and issues which touch on a vast array of disciplines, subjects, professions and vocations. This project will look at the full range of this complexity.

The project will critically engage with a number of core themes:

  1. Questions of definition: what is forgiveness? What sorts of behaviour require people to seek forgiveness? Who can grant forgiveness? Who benefits from forgiveness and how? Can it ever be wrong to offer forgiveness?

  2. Psychological Perspectives: emotional effects of victimization and the role of forgiveness: the nature of self-forgiveness; the inability to forgive; forgiveness and self-worth: forgiveness and self-respect.

  3. Legal and Political Perspectives: forgiveness for past crimes: rehabilitation, second chances, and pardons: forgiveness in the context of legal and criminal proceedings: forgiveness as a part of social reconstruction following wars or systematic social injustices: forgiveness and nations; forgiveness and historic wrongs

  4. Social, Cultural and Literary Perspectives: the role of forgiveness in different cultures; ceremonies of forgiveness: forgiveness in literature: forgiveness in cinema, tv, film and theatre: the role of the arts as catalyst or hindrance for actual cases of forgiveness

  5. Religion and Forgiveness: distinctions between secular and religious notions of forgiveness: the role of forgiveness in religious practices: belief and the promotion of forgiveness: belief as a barrier to forgiveness: rituals of forgiveness and their importance

  6. Issues and Connections: the relationship between forgiveness and restitution: the relationship between forgiveness and retribution: the relationship between forgiveness and compassion, mercy or pity: the relationship between forgiveness and reconciliation: the relationship between forgiveness and personal growth

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.

Email Group

There is an e-mail discussion group which exists to support and expand the work of the project. The group not only consolidates and continues the discussion of issues started during th eproject meetings, but it expands the scope of the dialogues and welcomes new people to be a part of those deabtes.

Subscribe/Unsubscribe to the Forgiveness – Probing the Boundaries discussion group.