Before Forgiveness The Origins of a Moral Idea

ISBN-10: 1107680204
ISBN-13: 9781107680203
Edition: 2012
Authors: David Konstan
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Description: In this book, David Konstan argues that the modern concept of interpersonal forgiveness, in the full sense of the term, did not exist in ancient Greece and Rome. Even more startlingly, it is not fully present in the Hebrew Bible, nor again in the  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 4/30/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

In this book, David Konstan argues that the modern concept of interpersonal forgiveness, in the full sense of the term, did not exist in ancient Greece and Rome. Even more startlingly, it is not fully present in the Hebrew Bible, nor again in the New Testament, or in the early Jewish and Christian commentaries on the Holy Scriptures. It would still be centuries-- many centuries-- before the idea of interpersonal forgiveness, with its accompanying ideas of apology, remorse, and a change of heart on the part of the wrongdoer, would emerge. For all its vast importance today in religion, law, politics, and psychotherapy, interpersonal forgiveness is creation of the 18th and 19th centuries, when the Christian concept of divine forgiveness was finally secularized. Forgiveness was God's province, and it took a revolution in thought to bring it to earth and make it a human trait.

What is forgiveness?
Before forgiveness: Greeks and Romans on guilt and innocence
Did they forgive? Greek and Roman narratives of reconciliation
Divine absolution: the Hebrew and Christian bibles
Humility and repentance: the church fathers
Enter forgiveness: the self transformed

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