Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Forgiveness for Groups

Forgiveness.jpgEverett Worthington, Jr., a well-known expert on the emotional and psychological dimensions of forgiveness, has given us a book so many need: forgiveness applied to more than just interpersonal dimensions. His new book is called A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing Injustice

He makes this statement about a situation that was provoked for me a few months back when I heard from a pastor-friend about relations breaking down in a church: “Most people who leave their job in frustration and anger don’t do so because of unfairness of pay, perks or privileges. They leave because they have unresolved conflict with a co-worker or boss. It just gets to the place where they don’t feel like going to work and they start looking for a new job. I wanted to help people resolve workplace unhappiness and hurts.”
Anyway, here are the topics discussed in this most practicable of books:
Understanding forgiveness through understanding humility, justice, forgiveness and dealing with wrongdoers. He uses a “REACH” theory: Recall the hurt, empathize, altruistic gift of forgiveness, commit publicly to forgive in a way that can be observed, and hold on to forgiveness.
And living out a just forgiveness in the:
Communities and Society
What can we do? is his last question.
Comments read comments(5)
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Travis Greene

posted November 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Does he address forgiveness in the context of criminal justice?

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posted November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm

There is much on restorative justice (forgiveness and justice in situations where violence has been done) online if you google it. I know there are a few theologians at the Conflict Transformation program at Eastern Mennonite University who talk about restorative justice and forgiveness, even when it comes to international conflict resolution.
This is such a needed conversation worldwide! We need to become much more creative in solving conflicts– personally, in groups, nationally and internationally.

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John Alchin

posted November 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm

The Australian Government has made two formal apologies in the past 2 years. The first, in Feb 2008, was to “the Stolen Generation”, Aboriginal children who were separated from their families and forced to live on missions (more info: and,23599,23206140-2,00.html ). The second apology, made earlier this week, was to 500,000 “Forgotten Australians” – children taken from their parents in the United Kingdom and Malta brought to Australia, taken to boarding houses and farms, where much abuse took place (more info: and ).
The main sticking point now is not the apologies, though there are dissenters, but the issue of reparation. See and

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posted November 18, 2009 at 5:23 am

Azim Khamisa ( has a forgiveness-based restorative justice program for youth in the justice system: Constant And Never-Ending Improvement (CANEI). It’s in eight communities around the country and showing good results. More at

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posted November 18, 2009 at 4:46 pm

A fine, fine read is:
Miraslov Volf’s Giving and Forgiving (see <a href="my review)
Chris Brauns’s Unpacking Forgiveness (see my review).
Volf’s is likely to provide more in terms of applying forgiveness to groups and in a non-church setting, but Brauns is not to be ingnored!

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