Forgiveness and Religious Tradition
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Forgiveness has been defined as the “forswearing of negative affect and judgment by viewing the wrongdoer with compassion and love, in the face of a wrongdoer’s considerable injustice” (Enright et al. 1991, p. 123). Forgivingness has been defined as “the disposition to abort one’s anger (or altogether to miss getting angry) at persons one takes to have wronged one culpably, by seeing them in the benevolent terms provided by reasons characteristic of forgiving” (Roberts 1995, p. 290). Forgivingness is thus an overall disposition that manifests itself in most circumstances in life. Forgiveness, by contrast, only applies to particular circumstances (particular offenses).
By religious tradition, we have essentially considered Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, without distinguishing between variants of these traditions (for a review, see McCullough et al. 2005). These are only a limited set of studies that have examined, separately from the effect of culture, the...
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