Before Forgiveness: The Origins of a Moral Idea
In this book, David Konstan argues that the modern concept of interpersonal forgiveness, in the full sense of the term, did not exist in ancient Greece and Rome. Even more startlingly, it is not fully present in the Hebrew Bible, nor in the New Testament or in the early Jewish and Christian commentaries on the Holy Scriptures. It would still be centuries - many centuries - before the idea of interpersonal forgiveness, with its accompanying ideas of apology, remorse, and a change of heart on the part of the wrongdoer, would emerge. For all its vast importance today in religion, law, politics and psychotherapy, interpersonal forgiveness is a creation of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the Christian concept of divine forgiveness was fully secularized. Forgiveness was God's province and it took a revolution in thought to bring it to earth and make it a human trait.
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Achilles Achilles Tatius Achilles’s acknowledgment action Adam affirms Agamemnon ancient anger aphesis apology appeal argues argument Aristotle Aristotle’s asks atonement Baba Kamma blame brother century change of heart Chapter character Christian Chrysis Cicero cited classical comedy committed conception confession context debt debtors defense Demeas discussion divine ethical Eurymachus example excuse exonerate father forgiven Géronte give Glycera God’s grant Greek and Roman Gregory of Nyssa Griswold guilt hamartia harm Hebrew Bible human forgiveness idea ignorance ignoscere innocence interpersonal forgiveness involuntary Jesus Jesus’s Jewish John Chrysostom Kant’s kind Konstan Latin Léandre Lord Maimonides means mercy metastasis Mishnah modern sense Molière moral transformation Moschio Neoptolemus ness Niceratus Nicomachean Ethics nômê Odysseus one’s pardon passage passion person Philoctetes pity Polemo punishment Quintilian reconciliation regret remission remorse repentance responsibility Rhetoric rhetoricians Scapin sincere sins slave Sostratus sung sungnômê term Testament texts tion Tosefta transgression turn victim word wrong wrongdoer wrongdoing