Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Law Literature Review

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Themes Of Forgiveness In Novels

Forgiveness. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is ‘an action or a process of forgiving or being forgiven’. On the other hand, Bråkenhielm (1993) said that the difficulty of defining forgiveness is because it is very much like love, it is ambiguous. Also, that there is no single concept that can define what it is. But there are many authors who tried to define forgiveness in many ways, two of these ways are: in psychological perspective and in theological perspective, respectively. One of the many authors is Canale (1990), according to him, forgiveness is a therapeutic agent in psychotherapy and that it is a cognitive restructuring that complements the emotional aspects of dealing with pain and resentment in therapy.

Forgiveness cannot be described or defined using only one concept. In this paper, I will discuss four of the most popular books in relation to forgiveness. These books attack different aspects of forgiveness. It is very interesting to know that one simple word can have multiples and multitudes of different applications.

In this paper, the following books will be discussed briefly:

Author: Robert Enright and Joanna North
Title: Forgiveness: A Bold choice for a Peaceful Heart (1992)
Author: Robin Casarjian
Title: The Handbook of forgiveness (2005)
Author: Everett L. Worthington Jr.
Title: The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness
Author: Simon Wiensenthal
Exploring Forgiveness by Robert Enright and Joanna North (1998)
This book is a compilation of 12 great, touching short stories that will teach any person how to deal with one of life’s toughest issues. This will help you face real and deep problems with acceptance and confidence in a positive way.

To start with, Chapter 2 of this book tackles about a mother who forgave her daughter’s murderer. The title of the article is: ‘the power and reality of forgiveness’. It is a very sad but inspiring story. If you come to think of it, how can a mother forgive her daughter’s murderer? It is very unusual but it is the right thing to do. This was just the beginning of it. The mother didn’t instantly forget what has happened to her daughter. It took her lots and lots of strength to face her daughter’s murderer and tell him that she doesn’t want him to be killed. Instead, she appealed for a lifetime imprisonment without bail. It was hard for her, but she realized that it was the right thing to do. After the tragic event, the mother became a part of a team that motivates people who suffered the same pain that she did. Today, she probably enjoys her life with her conscience clear helping other people cope up with the same situation as she did. This is what is meant by “power” and “reality” of forgiveness.

Another point stressed in the book is that of Joanna North, on her article named, ‘The “Ideal” of Forgiveness: A Philosopher’s Exploration’. It is a clear, thorough explanation on what forgiveness is, what it is not, and other aspects of forgiveness such as its multiperspectival nature. North (1998) said that forgiveness is more than just acceptance of the person who have been wronged. Forgiveness is multiperspective in nature, in the sense that it takes into account the point of view of the wrongdoer: the process of being forgiven, the process of acceptance of forgiveness of the wrongdoer from the injured party. This acceptance of forgiveness is commonly known as self-forgiveness of the wrongdoer. When these two concepts have been joined together, process of forgiveness and self-forgiveness of the wrongdoer, then, we will have a bigger understanding on what forgiveness is really all about.

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Forgiveness: A Bold choice for a Peaceful Heart by Robin Casarjian (1992)

In this book, Casarjian (1992) stresses that forgiveness frees us from fear, which is an underlying feeling behind resentment. Furthermore, it focused on a broad range of topics, from why to choose forgiveness, forgiveness for your family, forgiveness for yourself, and lastly, forgiveness for the world. Also, Casarjian (1992) said that forgiveness ...

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The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiensenthal (1998)

This is a very intriguing book that aroused the minds of many thinkers and writers. It is about a concentration camp prisoner who was subjected to an unexpected situation wherein a dying SS (German militia) man asked for his forgiveness after having participated in the Jews genocide. His response was to walk away. Nothing. He questioned if his response to the situation was ...

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