Original Research

Forgiving is a way of healing: Theological approximations1

Geiko Müller-Fahrenholz
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 56, No 4 | a1803 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v56i4.1803 | © 2000 Geiko Müller-Fahrenholz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2000 | Published: 14 December 2000

About the author(s)

Geiko Müller-Fahrenholz, Bremen, Germany, Germany

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By interpreing a contemporary forgiveness story this article seeks to provide a fresh understanding of the classical penitenial theology in "non-religious" terms (D Bonhoeffer). The "exegesis" of the story shows that forgiveness is a process of truthful encounter with the burdens of the past and of mutual liberaion both for the perpetrator and for the vicim in asmuch as it enables both sides to move beyond the bondage of past guilt and traumaization. Restitution and compensaion are seen as an indispensable element in such a process, with the emphasis being not so much on "repairing" the past than on "preparing" a more just and harmonious way forward.


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