What We Know about Forgiveness

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About 25 years ago, largely as a result of grant funding from the John Templeton Foundation, forgiveness became a topic not just for faith communities but for scientists to study.  Since that time, we have learned about what forgiveness is, what impact it has on us and our health (both forgiveness and unforgiveness), how it develops in us, and best practices for forgiving in a range of contexts.

This summary (with video) and comprehensive 55-page report written by field leader, Everett Worthington, a psychologist from Virginia Commonwealth University, details the progress that has been made related to a number of dimensions of forgiveness. It is rich with insights that can inform the way we teach and preach forgiveness in the church.

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