Forgiveness usually gets a very good press in our culture: we are deluged with self-help books and television shows all delivering the same message, that forgiveness is good for everyone, and is always the right thing to do. But those who have suffered seriously at the hands of others often and rightly feel that this boosterism about forgiveness is glib and facile. Perhaps forgiveness is not always desirable, especially where the wrongdoing is terrible or the wrongdoer unrepentant. In this book, Garrard and McNaughton suggest that the whole debate suffers from a crippling lack of clarity about what forgiveness really amounts to. They argue that it is more difficult, complex and troubling than many of its advocates suppose. Nevertheless, they conclude, a proper understanding of forgiveness allows us to avoid cheap and shallow forms of it, and enables us to see why it is right and admirable to forgive even unrepentant wrongdoers.
Introduction 1. The debate about forgiveness 2. The case against forgiveness 3. A third way? 4. The case for forgiveness I: what the psychologists say 5. The case for forgiveness II: meeting the objections 6. The case for forgiveness III: the positive arguments