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Between Truth and Trust: Forgiveness as a Literary and Cultural Challenge

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Title: Between Truth and Trust
Subtitle: Forgiveness as a Literary and Cultural Challenge
Subject Classification: Literature and Literary Criticism, Religion and Faith, History, Society and Culture 
BIC Classification: DS, HB, JF
BISAC Classification: LIT025000, HIS054000, REL006630
Binding: Hardback, pp.(to be confirmed)
Planned Publication date: January 2025
ISBN (printed book): 978-1-80441-290-9
ISBN (web pdf): 978-1-80441-291-6

Price: £87.99

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Radical wrongdoing can have devastating effects for entire communities, beyond individual trauma. Across cultures, different coping strategies that help victims to get on with their lives range from individual therapy to collective rituals and ceremonies.

This new book distances itself from the predominantly individual take on forgiveness, and concentrates on its collective and cultural dimensions in a broad historical, religious and cultural context. By developing forgiveness as a particular speech act based on a precarious mutual acceptance between victims and perpetrators, the book suggests a new approach to forgiveness. Framed by this challenging reciprocity, forgiveness becomes an ongoing experiment in mutual understanding, which, to be successful, requires the imagination of a shared future.

Literature, as a creative and imaginary medium of expression, is integrated throughout the book as a vehicle to explore a deeper understanding of the cultural practice of forgiveness. The book draws on literary texts from different cultures and religions across the globe; from antiquity and early Christianity to the present. In looking at forgiveness through this lens, the book offers a broader and more comprehensive approach than most of the existing scholarly literature and debates on forgiveness.


Author: Svend Erik Larsen is Professor Emeritus in the School of Culture and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark.


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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