Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:163-172 (2008)
The word “forgiveness” and its verbal form, “forgiving,” may appear to have one and the same meaning whenever it is used. But the first thesis of this essay is that several distinct kinds of human activity are denominated by this word, and their differences are philosophically important. The second thesis of this essay is that some of the human activities denominated by this word have a close connection with hope, more specifically with hoping-in-a-person. The third thesis of this essay is that, because of this connection, some kinds of forgiving have important communal aspects that are often overlooked. The essay develops its three theses through discussions of the expression “forgive and forgot,” a theme from Charles Bosk’s study, Forgive and Remember, a scene from Jane Austen’s, Emma, and a description of forgiving by theologian and spiritual writer, Louis Every
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