Love's Forgiveness: Kierkegaard, Resentment, Humility, and Hope

Love's Forgiveness: Kierkegaard, Resentment, Humility, and Hope

by John Lippitt


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Love's Forgiveness combines a discussion of the nature and ethics of forgiveness with a discussion--inspired by Kierkegaard--of the implications of considering interpersonal forgiveness as a 'work of love'. It introduces the reader to some key questions that have exercised recent philosophers of forgiveness, discussing the relationship between forgiveness and an extended notion of resentment; considering whether forgiveness should be conditional or unconditional (showcasing a particular understanding of the latter); and arguing that there are legitimate forms of third party forgiveness. It then introduces the idea of forgiveness as a work of love through a discussion of Kierkegaard, key New Testament passages on forgiveness, and some contemporary work on the philosophy of love.

Drawing on both philosophy and the New Testament, it offers an understanding of forgiveness that incorporates both agapic love and a proper concern for justice. John Lippitt explores religious and secular uses of key metaphors for forgiveness, and the idea of forgivingness as a character trait, suggesting that seeking to correct for various cognitive biases is key to the development of such a virtue, and connecting it to other putative virtues, such as humility and hope. Lippitt draws on both Kierkegaard's discourse literature and contemporary philosophical work on these latter characteristics, before turning to a discussion of the nature of self-forgiveness. Throughout the book, the philosophical and theological literature is rooted in a discussion of various 'forgiveness narratives', including Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking, Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger's South of Forgiveness, and Ian McEwan's Atonement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198861836
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 10/23/2020
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Lippitt, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Ethics and Society, University of Notre Dame Australia

John Lippitt is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Ethics and Society at the University of Notre Dame Australia and Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Hertfordshire. He is the author of several books, including the Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-Love, as well as editor or co-editor of several more, including The Oxford Handbook of Kierkegaard.

Table of Contents

1. Forgiveness and the range of resentment
2. The standing to forgive and the standing to be forgiven
3. Kierkegaard and forgiveness: a work of love?
4. Agapic love and justice
5. Metaphors for forgiveness
6. Forgiving, forgetting and reframing
7. On learning humility from the lilies and the birds
8. Hope in the task of forgiveness
9. Self-forgiveness and the moral perspective of humility

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