Forgiveness

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The following definition of forgiveness if from Wikipedia–

“Forgiveness is the mental, emotional and/or spiritual process of ceasing to feel resentment or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution[[:Template:American Psychological Association. September, 2006]].

Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives, in terms of the person forgiven and/or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven. In some contexts, it may be granted without any expectation of compensation, and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is dead). In practical terms, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgement, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe they are able to forgive. [[:Template:American Psychological Association. Italic text Forgiveness: A Sampling of Research ResultsItalic text. September, 2006]]

Most world religions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness, and many of these teachings provide an underlying basis for many varying modern day traditions and practices of forgiveness. However, throughout the ages, philosophers have studied forgiveness apart from religion. In addition, as in other areas of human inquiry, science is beginning to question religious concepts of forgiveness. Psychology, sociology and medicine are among the scientific disciplines researching forgiveness or aspects of forgiveness.

Instances of teachings on forgiveness such as the parable of the Prodigal Son[1] and Mahatma Gandhi’s forgiveness of his assassin as he lay dying, are well known instances of such teachings and practices of forgiveness. Some religious doctrines or philosophies place greater emphasis on the need for humans to find some sort of divine forgiveness for their own shortcomings, others place greater emphasis on the need for humans to practice forgiveness between one another, yet others make little or no distinction between human and/or divine forgiveness.”

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