Dimensions of Forgiveness

Psychological Research & Theological Perspectives

Edited by Everett L. Worthington Jr.

The scientific study of forgiveness is a new approach to an age-old problem. For thousands of years, people have practiced forgiveness within religious systems. Now, the field of scholarly research of forgiveness reveals the beneficial aspects of the process.

Contributors include Elliot Dorff and Martin Marty discussing religious interpretations, followed by social implications explained by Kenneth Pargament and Mark Rye. Roy Baumeister, Julie Exline, and Kristin Sommer present the victim's point of view. Other contributors focusing on the forgiveness research are: Everett Worthington, Robert Enright, Catherine Coyle, Carl Thoresen, Frederic Luskin, and Alex Harris. An annotated bibliography by Michael McCullough, Julie Exline, and Roy Baumeister, covers the empirical literature on the subject. Lewis Smedes concludes with the four steps necessary for forgiveness: moving from estrangement to forgiveness to reconciliation to hope.

Preface / ix

Acknowledgments / xi

Introduction / 1

Part I. Forgiveness in Religion

1. The Ethos of Christian Forgiveness / 9
Martin E. Marty

2. The Elements of Forgiveness: A Jewish Approach / 29
Elliot N. Dorff

Part II. Forgiveness in Basic Social Processes

3. Forgiveness as a Method of Religious Coping / 59
Kenneth I. Pargament and Mark S. Rye

4. The Victim Role,Grudge Theory, and Two Dimensions of Forgiveness / 79
Roy F. Baumeister, Julie Juola Exline, and Kristin L. Sommer

Part III. Forgiveness in Interventions

5. The Pyramid Model of Forgiveness: Some Interdisciplinary Speculations about Unforgiveness and the Promotion of Forgiveness / 107
Everett L.Worthington, Jr.

6. Researching the Process Model of Forgiveness Within Psychological Interventions / 139
Robert D. Enright and Catherine T. Coyle 

7. Science and Forgiveness Interventions: Reflections and Recommendations / 163
Carl E.Thoresen, Frederic Luskin, and Alex H.S. Harris

Part IV. Forgiveness in Published Research

8. An Annotated Bibliography of Research on Forgiveness and Related Concepts / 193
Michael E. McCullough, Julie Juola Exline, and Roy F. Baumeister

Part V. Forgiveness in Future Research

9. Empirical Research in Forgiveness: Looking Backward, Looking Forward / 321
Everett L.Worthington, Jr.

10. Stations on the Journey from Forgiveness to Hope / 341
Lewis B. Smedes

Contributors / 355

Index / 357