Modern Believing

THE SPIRITUALITY OF FORGIVENESS: THEOLOGICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL AND LINGUISTIC REFLECTIONS

Modern Believing (2020), 61, (3), 229–238.

Abstract

Forgiveness is sometimes said to be evidence of a person’s spirituality. We explore what spirituality is, and what it means to be spiritual and to forgive. Based on the thought of William James, it is argued that there is a necessary relationship between spirituality and the numinous, and that it is better to refer to the ‘humanity’ of those who do not believe in the supernatural rather than to their ‘spirituality’. We conclude that there are not forms of forgiveness that are unique to those who are spiritual and that provide evidence for spirituality in the senses that ‘spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’ are used in this article.

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References

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Bash, A. (2011a) Just Forgiveness. London: SPCK. Google Scholar

Bash, A. (2011b) ‘Forgiveness: A Re-Appraisal’, Studies in Christian Ethics, 24(1), pp. 133–46. Google Scholar

Bash, A. (2014) ‘Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Spirituality: A Theology’, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 4(1), pp. 58–72. Google Scholar

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Bash, A. (2007) Forgiveness and Christian Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

Bash, A. (2011a) Just Forgiveness. London: SPCK. Google Scholar

Bash, A. (2011b) ‘Forgiveness: A Re-Appraisal’, Studies in Christian Ethics, 24(1), pp. 133–46. Google Scholar

Bash, A. (2014) ‘Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Spirituality: A Theology’, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 4(1), pp. 58–72. Google Scholar

Bash, A. (2015) Forgiveness: A Theology. Eugene, OR: Cascade. Google Scholar

BBC News (2018) ‘Can You Be Spiritual If You Don’t Believe in God?’, 7 April. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-43646370. Google Scholar

Carrette, J. (2008) ‘William James’ in J. Corrigan, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 419–37. Google Scholar

Carroll, L. (1934[1872]) Alice’s Adventures and Through the Looking Glass. London: Macmillan. Google Scholar

Clack, B. (2001) ‘Sade: Forgiveness and Truth in a Desacralised Universe’, Literature and Theology, 15(3), pp. 262–75. Google Scholar

James, W. (1902) The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. New York: Longman, Green, & Co. Google Scholar

Lamberth, David C. (2005) ‘Experience and the Value of Religion: Overview and Analysis’ in J. Carrette, ed. William James and ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’. London: Routledge, pp. 235–46. Google Scholar

Lomax, E. (1996) The Railway Man. London: Vintage Press. Google Scholar

Tutu, D. (1999) No Future Without Forgiveness. London: Rider. Google Scholar

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Author details

Bash, Anthony

Bash, Anthony

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