Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social

The Philosophy of Forgiveness - Volume V

Court D. Lewis (Ed.)

by Gregory L. Bock (The University of Texas at Tyler), Kristie Miller (University of Sydney), Russell Luke (University of Sydney), Jennifer Kling (University of Colorado – Colorado Springs), Colin Lewis (University of Colorado Boulder), Leonard Kahn (Loyola University New Orleans), Elisa Rapaport (Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect), William N. Schabio Jr. (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Court D. Lewis (Pellissippi State Community College), Jason Cook (Grace Community Church), Andrew J. Latham (University of Sydney), Subhobroto Banerjee (Presidency University, Kolkata, India), Laci Hubbard-Mattix (Washington State University), L. Brooke Rudow (Georgia College and State University), Isadora Mosch Hefner (Savannah State University), Adam Barkman (Redeemer University College, Canada), Bennet Soenen (McMaster University), Merianna Neely Harrelson (Garden of Grace UU), James Norton (University of Iceland, Iceland)

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“Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social” is the cutting edge of philosophical exploration of the many facets of forgiveness. In this volume Court Lewis has assembled a rich and diverse collection of essays highlighting many largely overlooked perspectives on forgiveness. The issues addressed in this exciting volume range from the role that forgiveness plays in combating racism to the nature of self-forgiveness to political forgiveness in moving from war to peace. The volume is well thought out and timely. Simply put, “Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social” is a must-read for anyone interested in the nature of forgiveness.

Dr. Kevin McCain
Professor of Philosophy
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Court Lewis’ worthwhile volume addresses the very important and relevant topic of forgiveness and how it relates to race, parenting, other relationships, and forgiving oneself. It further offers accounts of the nature of forgiveness, its ethical dimensions, and its relevance in the social and political spheres, for example, in postwar situations and an era of political hyper-polarization and tribalism, but also how forgiveness is construed in religious contexts: Christianity, Scientology, and Gnosticism. The contributions to this volume are insightful, scholarly, well-researched, and accessible. In addition, the contributors come from around the globe, which offers a valuable international perspective on forgiveness. The book has a very broad and interdisciplinary appeal for those philosophers and scholars working on the topic of forgiveness, and it is an important contribution to that scholarship. The book’s accessibility and readability of the chapters make it appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students. The topic of forgiveness is intrinsically interesting, and virtually all humans must grapple with it at some point in their lives; thus, this volume is a valuable aid to anyone wishing to understand the nature and functionality of forgiveness more deeply.

Dr. Paula Smithka
Program Coordinator for Philosophy & Religion
School of Humanities
The University of Southern Mississippi

Forgiveness, we are coming to understand, plays a vital, but not yet fully understood role in human flourishing. The chapters in “Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social” broaden and enrich our understanding by considering forgiveness from a wide variety of religious, philosophical, personal, and societal perspectives. More importantly, the work expands our consideration of forgiveness relative to formal (churches, states) and informal (racism) institutions. This expansion illuminates a need for further work clarifying the notion (or notions?) of forgiveness, its relationship to agency, and the distinction between the concept itself and the moral conditions relevant to an act of forgiving.

Dr. Charles E. Cardwell
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy
Pellissippi State Community College

'Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social', Volume V of Vernon Press’s The Philosophy of Forgiveness series, is an exercise in listening. Listening to others, and not just waiting for them to stop speaking, requires a willingness to recognize the worth of the other and to believe that what they say is worthy of consideration. Much like reading a book, one must strive to quiet the constant voice in one’s head in order to hear and process the information communicated. Listening is not always easy, and it takes considerable practice, but it is one of the most effective means for developing understanding and growing as an intellectual and moral person. Literature dealing with forgiveness lacks many important voices, including those from First Peoples, African American, LatinX, and LGTBQ+ , and many others, and the authors of 'Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social' begin the task of closing these gaps, discussing topics from folk and other social and political issues to racism, systems of oppression, and religion. The authors were asked to explore forgiveness from their own understandings of underrepresented aspects of forgiveness, and readers will hopefully be enlightened and inspired to make their own diverse voices of forgiveness heard, creating a true dialogue of diversity and wisdom.

List of Tables and Figures


Introduction: On Listening
Court D. Lewis
Pellissippi State Community College

Part I: Parenting, Race, Relationships, and Self-Forgiveness

Chapter 1 Crossing White Lines: My Son, Racism, and Forgiveness
Court D. Lewis
Pellissippi State Community College

Chapter 2 Forgive and Forget: Aporetic Forgiveness in the Child-Parent Relationship
Laci Hubbard-Mattix
Washington State University

Chapter 3 Forgiveness and Racism: Answering the Condonation and Resignation Objections
Gregory L. Bock
The University of Texas at Tyler
Jason Cook
Grace Community Church

Chapter 4 A Vow of Forgiveness
L. Brooke Rudow
Georgia College and State University
Isadora Mosch
Savannah State University

Chapter 5 Jahangir and the Dilemma of Self-Forgiveness
Subhobroto Banerjee
Presidency University, Kolkata

Part II: Political, Religious, and Conceptual

Chapter 6 Social and Political “Statutes of Limitations”: Mo’ Approaches, Mo’ Problems
Jennifer Kling
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
Colin Lewis
University of Colorado Boulder

Chapter 7 A Place for Political Forgiveness in Jus post Bellum
Leonard Kahn
Loyola University New Orleans

Chapter 8 The Impact of Tribalism: Forgiveness in the Political Sphere
Elisa Rapaport
Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect
William N. Schabio, Jr.
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Chapter 9 Cosmic Rectitude in Scientology, Gnosticism, and Christianity
Adam Barkman
Redeemer University College, Canada
Bennet Soenen
McMaster University

Chapter 10 Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew
Rev. Merianna Neely Harrelson
Garden of Grace UU

Chapter 11 Forgiveness: From Conceptual Pluralism to Conceptual Ethics
Andrew J Latham, Kristie Miller, Luke Russell
University of Sydney
James Norton
University of Iceland


Court D. Lewis is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, TN. Specializing in Ethics, Forgiveness, and Justice, Court is the author of 'Repentance and the Right to Forgiveness', Series Editor of Vernon Press’s series 'The Philosophy of Forgiveness', and co-editor (with Gregory L. Bock) of 'The Ethics of Anger' and 'Righteous Indignation: Christianity and Anger'. Court is a member of the Concerned Philosophers for Peace, proud father and husband, volunteer, and musician.

Philosophy, Forgiveness Studies, Ethics, Social/Political Philosophy

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Forgiveness Confronts Race, Relationships, and the Social

Book Subtitle

The Philosophy of Forgiveness - Volume V





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


1 B&W

Publication date

July 2022