Forgiveness: An Exploration

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Using real-life stories, Forgiveness explores the messy, complex and gripping subject of forgiveness. 'Cantacuzino's gift for empathy shines through her conversations... She tackles her complex [message] with clear prose and an open heart... This nuance feels like a cool breeze in a heatwave. If there is a message here, it's to listen more, think more and preach less' Sunday Times ‘This is an utterly memorable book – beautifully written, fascinating in its insights, and extraordinarily moving. We all need to forgive, and this book, through its recounting of the stories of people who have something really significant to forgive, will be an inspiration to help us reach a state of forgiveness. This is a book that will stay with the reader for a very long time’ Alexander McCall Smith I forgive you. Three simple words behind which sits an intriguing and complex concept. These words can be used to absolve a meaningless squabble, or said to someone who has caused you great harm. They can liberate you from guilt, or consciously place blame on your shoulders. Forgiveness can often be perceived as saccharine and overtly religious, something just for the spiritually superior or mentally strong. But really it is a gritty, risky concept that is so often relevant to our ordinary everyday lives. Forgiveness explores the subject from every angle, coming from a place of enquiry rather than persuasion, presenting it as an offering, never a prescription. Marina Cantacuzino seeks to investigate, unpick and debate the limits and possibilities of forgiveness – in our relationships, for our physical and mental wellbeing, how it plays out in international politics and within the criminal justice system, and where it intersects with religious faith. Cantacuzino speaks to people across the globe who have considered forgiveness in different forms and circumstances. She talks to a survivor of Auschwitz; to someone who accidentally killed a friend; to people who have lost loved ones in acts of violence; to a former combatant in The Troubles as well as to the daughter of someone he murdered. Through these real stories, expert opinion and the author’s experience from two decades working in this field, the reader gets to better understand what forgiveness is and what it most definitely isn’t, how it can be an important element in breaking the cycle of suffering, and ultimately how it might help transform fractured relationships and mend broken hearts.

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