Examining themes of forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict transformation, this book brings together the personal testimonies of both survivors and perpetrators of crime and violence and asks the question whether forgiveness may have more currency than revenge in an age which seems locked into the cycle of conflict.The powerful real life stories collected by The Forgiveness Project come from ordinary people around the world in a diverse range of situations, including those who have transformed aggression into a driving force for peace. Raising the possibility of alternatives to resentment, retaliation and revenge, each story shows the very real impact of forgiveness (or lack of forgiveness) within a particular context, provoking questions such as ‘what is forgiveness?’, ‘how can you respond to the unforgivable?’ and ‘can you move on without forgiveness?’
Marina Cantacuzino’s challenging, reflective introductory essay sets the stories in the larger context of approaches to forgiveness, from both religious and secular viewpoints, concluding that in the reality of lived experience forgiveness has a quality `as mysterious as love’.
As with all good storytelling each personal narrative in this book reveals both the intimate in the epic and the epic in the intimate.
The Forgiveness Project grew out of a conviction that people’s perspectives only shift when they are able to hear the stories of others. In ten years it has become a high impact and influential charity that has wide application and a universal draw on people. Using real stories of victims and perpetrators, the charity sets out to explore concepts of forgiveness and conflict resolution in order to humanise the ‘other’, foster resilient relationships and help to dissolve tension.
This book, in which the depths of human sadness are related alongside astonishing accounts of hope, courage and beauty, gives the lie to much that is said and written about forgiveness today. The introductory essay, and the stories that follow, point to the extraordinary range of experiences and situations where forgiveness is somehow relevant, and where it sometimes, often unaccountably, heals and transforms even the most wounded and broken. This is challenging and mysterious stuff, and it will draw a deep and different response from all who open themselves to the pain, truth and transcendence documented here.