Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pg. 69: Charles Griswold's "Forgiveness"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration by Charles Griswold.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nearly everyone has wronged another. Who among us has not longed to be forgiven? Nearly everyone has suffered the bitter injustice of wrongdoing. Who has not struggled to forgive? Charles Griswold has written the first comprehensive philosophical book on forgiveness in both its interpersonal and political contexts, as well as its relation to reconciliation. Having examined the place of forgiveness in ancient philosophy and in modern thought, he discusses what forgiveness is, what conditions the parties to it must meet, its relation to revenge and hatred, when it is permissible and whether it is obligatory, and why it is a virtue.
Among the early praise for the book:

"Rarely has a philosopher offered his fervent students and readers such depth, knowledge and sensitivity as Charles Griswold has done in this volume that deals with one of the most urgent topics facing humankind today."
--Elie Wiesel

"Charles Griswold’s Forgiveness is a truly wonderful book, which not only wisely and eloquently treats a significant feature of the moral life and moral psychology, but also sheds unexpected light on moral theory and the history of ethics. The book also includes a fascinating discussion of the role of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation in political life during the last fifty years."
--Stephen Darwall, University of Michigan

"One of the lessons of modernity is that there is no consolation in the human condition, unless perhaps it consists in somehow reconciling ourselves to evils so sublimely absurd that at each new moment they test our capacities for acceptance. In such a world, an understanding of forgiveness – the concept of it, the varieties, its human sources and limits – is more central to life than ever before. Charles Griswold’s clearheaded and perceptive new book explores forgiveness both analytically and realistically, helping us toward all these forms of understanding."
--Allen Wood, Stanford University

"Forgiveness by Charles Griswold is a philosopher’s attempt to hone the complexity of interpersonal and political forgiveness to make them accessible. The book honors sources both historical and current, and while it is not primarily religious nor psychological it includes both as it integrates an enormous range of material with deep intelligence and insight. The book is well referenced, quite readable and taught me things about forgiveness I did not know."
--Frederic Luskin, Director Stanford Forgiveness Projects, author of Forgive for Good

Read an excerpt from Forgiveness and learn more about the book at the Cambridge University Press website.

Charles Griswold is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University.

The Page 69 Test: Forgiveness.

--Marshal Zeringue