David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (2):181-199 (2013)
Believers regularly refer to God as “forgiving and merciful” when praying for divine forgiveness. If one is committed to divine immutability and impassability, as Maimonides is, one must deny that God is capable, in principle, of acting in a forgiving manner. If one rejects divine impassability, maintaining that God has a psychology, as Muffs does, one must reckon with biblical depictions of divine vengeance and rage. Such depictions suggest that while being capable, in principle, of acting in a forgiving way, God has a difficulty to manage God’s anger and do so in practice. Employing a Wittgensteinian perspective, I argue that utterances, e.g., “God merciful and gracious, slow to anger. . . forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”, need not be understood as involving mistaken or confused descriptions of God’s nature and manner of acting. Rather, they can be understood as speech-acts of various types and functions: mystical, theurgic and others, that purport to bring about or transform various states of affairs in this world and/or beyond it. As such, they can function as non-semantic instruments that purport to elevate the believer to the “upper worlds”, or as anger-management devices that purport to help God implement His second order desire to act in a forgiving manner, despite His difficulty to do so
|Keywords||Forgiveness Resentment Prayer Maimonides Muffs Wittgenstein|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Harry G. Frankfurt (1971). Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person. Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Charles L. Griswold (2007). Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration. Cambridge University Press.
Simone Weil (2002/1987). Gravity and Grace. Routledge.
Jeffrie G. Murphy & Jean Hampton (1990). [Book Review] Forgiveness and Mercy. [REVIEW] Ethics 100 (2):413-415.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Espen Gamlund (2011). The Duty to Forgive Repentant Wrongdoers. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (5):651-671.
Louis E. Newman (1987). The Quality of Mercy: On the Duty to Forgive in the Judaic Tradition. Journal of Religious Ethics 15 (2):155 - 172.
James Montmarquet (2007). Planned Forgiveness. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3):285 - 296.
Glen Pettigrove (2009). The Standing to Forgive. The Monist 92 (4):583-603.
Charles Billingsley (2009). God Laughs: And Other Surprising Things You Never Knew About Him. Regal Books.
Elmer L. Towns (2009). God Laughs: And Other Surprising Things You Never Knew About Him. Regal Books.
Glen Pettigrove (2008). The Dilemma of Divine Forgiveness. Religious Studies 44 (4):457-464.
M. J. Kurzynski (1998). The Virtue of Forgiveness as a Human Resource Management Strategy. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (1):77-85.
Glen Pettigrove (2004). Unapologetic Forgiveness. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (3):187 - 204.
Karen D. Hoffman (2008). Forgiveness Without Apology. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:135-151.
Alice MacLachlan (2008). Forgiveness and Moral Solidarity. In Stephen Bloch-Shulman & David White (eds.), Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries. Inter-Disciplinary Press
Espen Gamlund (2011). Forgiveness Without Blame. In Christel Fricke (ed.), The Ethics of Forgiveness. Routledge
Eve Garrard (2002). Forgiveness and the Holocaust. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (2):147-165.
Glen Pettigrove (2004). The Forgiveness We Speak: The Illocutionary Force of Forgiving. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (3):371-392.
Added to index2012-09-14
Total downloads19 ( #165,671 of 1,777,936 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,352 of 1,777,936 )
How can I increase my downloads?