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Perspectives on Forgiveness

Contrasting Approaches to Concepts of Forgiveness and Revenge

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Edited by Susie DiVietro and Jordan Kiper

Demands for forgiveness, even in the face of horrific crimes, were common to the late twentieth century and remain critical aspirations for persons and communities in the early twenty-first century. Research on forgiveness and revenge has nevertheless revealed that many people hold divergent moral and pragmatic beliefs about forgiving, and most survivors express longstanding skepticism about when forgiveness is appropriate and when it is not. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, the current volume considers the complexities of forgiveness and revenge in the modern world. The chapters address some of the most critical inquiries today: How is forgiveness facilitated or obstructed? What is the role of truth, restitution, reparation or retribution? When is forgiveness without restitution appropriate? Is forgiveness in the true sense of the term even possible? Through empirical, theoretical and literary analyses, this volume addresses the power of revenge and forgiveness in human affairs and offers a unique outlook on the benefits of interdisciplinary discussions for enhancing forgiveness and deterring revenge in multiple aspects of human life.

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Ira Livingston

Magic Science Religion explores surprising intersections among the three meaning-making and world-making practices named in the title. Through colorful examples, the book reveals circuitous ways that social, cultural and natural systems connect, enabling real kinds of magic to operate. Among the many case studies are accounts of how an eighteenth-century actor gave his audience goosebumps; how painters, poets, and pool sharks use nonlinearity in working their magics; how the first vertebrates gained consciousness; how plants fine-tuned human color vision; and the necessarily magical element of activism that builds on the conviction that "another future is possible" while working to push self-fulfilling prophecy into political action.