Date of Award

4-22-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Vincent Lloyd - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Peter Lindsay - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Timothy Renick - Committee Member

Abstract

This essay traces two trends in current philosophical and theological debates concerning forgiveness. One, advocated by Vladimir Jankélévitch and Jacques Derrida, I label “impossible” forgiveness. The second, advanced by John Milbank and L. Gregory Jones, I label “communal” forgiveness. I explore and critically examine each of these positions in the first two sections of the thesis. In the last section of the thesis I examine a recent conversation amongst religious ethicists against the background of the theoretical conversations described in the first half of the essay. Bringing the theoretical conversation together with the religious ethicists’ conversation, I argue that whether or not we embrace forgiveness depends in large part in what tradition, religious or secular, we place ourselves.

Included in

Religion Commons

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