Focus on Forgiveness
Is It Possible and Sometimes Desirable for States to Forgive?
Article first published online: 18 JUL 2013
© 2013 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 417–434, September 2013
How to Cite
Wolterstorff, N. (2013), Is It Possible and Sometimes Desirable for States to Forgive?. Journal of Religious Ethics, 41: 417–434. doi: 10.1111/jore.12022
- Issue published online: 18 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 18 JUL 2013
After discussing at some length the nature of interpersonal forgiveness and its relation to punishment, the author addresses the main question of the essay: are states the sorts of entities that can forgive; and if they are, is it sometimes desirable that they forgive? The author argues that states can forgive and very often do; and that sometimes it is desirable that they do so. The essay closes by considering the complexities that arise when the state wants to forgive but the victim does not, and conversely.