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Durham e-Theses
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Forgiveness: human and divine

Oxley, Richard Rice (1985) Forgiveness: human and divine. Unspecified thesis, Durham University.



Human forgiveness is always a personal response to personal wrong. In this it differs from pardon, which is a social activity undertaken only by one qualified to do so. Forgiveness is different from both understanding and tolerance in its response to personal wrong. True forgiveness always includes the letting go of resentment and results in healing for the one who forgives. Prior to an act of forgiveness, repentance on the part of the wrongdoer is desirable, but not essential. When repentance does take place, forgiveness includes a measure of trust being placed in the one forgiven. Since forgiveness is difficult, there are ways in which it is falsified, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgiveness is also difficult for the one being forgiven. He should be given the opportunity to make reparation. Many situations involve wrongs on both sides with a consequent need for mutual forgiveness. Sometimes an individual will feel it appropriate to repent of wrongs committed by those whom he is seen to represent. Self-forgiveness, though difficult to understand and open to abuse, is a real and necessary activity. God’s forgiveness is examined from the three-fold perspective of release from debt, justification, and the personal bearing of hurt and renewal of fellowship. Each perspective is found in the teaching of Jesus and Paul, although their emphases differ. From all three perspectives, the Gross is found to be the cost of forgiveness. Finally, the thesis notes the elements common to human and divine forgiveness. Both are personal, and so involve the feelings. Forgiveness is costly for both man and God. It is risky, for it can be refused or abused. It is a necessity, since both man and God have a deep need to be reconciled to those from whom they are estranged.

Item Type:Thesis (Unspecified)
Thesis Date:1985
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 14:10

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