This book is close to my heart. It holds the scarcely remembered practice of forgiveness gently, with both hands, sifting its limits and potential, and rebalancing its nuanced place in the world of traumatic, unresolved loss. It brings to bear both the scholarly and the experiential, the religious and the secular, on its cumulative journey. It investigates complexity, salvaging space for narratives and dialogues of meaning and recovery, inspiring us to remember the way from head to heart.
This is a rich collection of reflections on the desirability (or otherwise) of forgiveness in a wide range of contexts, from prisons through medical practice to the pastoral work of clergy. Although the various contributors are committed to distinct - and sometimes inconsistent - understandings of what forgiveness means, there are several recurring themes, such as the complex relationships between forgiving, being forgiven and self-forgiveness, and the differences between forgiving individuals and forgiving institutions. Amongst the strengths of the collection is the wide variety of real-life examples discussed, allowing the reader to test their general understanding of forgiveness against such contexts as interpersonal abuse, addiction, murder and the bombing of cities. This makes for a challenging - and sometimes moving - read.
Forgiveness in Practice is a momentous achievement. It reveals the anatomy of forgiveness not by indulging in abstract theorising, but instead by drawing on practitioners' direct experiences with individuals exploring, embracing or struggling with forgiveness. The numerous chapters demonstrate the pervasive nature of forgiveness intersecting with our lives virtually from cradle to the grave. You will not find any self-righteousness in this book, but you will find ample courage to tackle head-on the various taboos surrounding this big topic. This book will change the way we talk and do forgiveness.