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Durham University

Department of Philosophy

Staff

Publication details for Professor Geoffrey Scarre

Scarre, Geoffrey (2011). Political reconciliation, forgiveness and grace. Journal of Christian Ethics 24(2): 171-182.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This essay argues that the overuse of the idiom of forgiveness has distorted our understanding of the nature and requirements of political reconciliation, and proposes its supplementation by a notion of grace. This is a mode of response to wrongs that is less hedged around by conventions and conditions, and grace complements forgiveness in contexts in which the latter is inappropriate; it is also more serviceable for maintaining inter-community harmony in the long term. Following a detailed analysis of grace in the political environment, the paper concludes by tracing a concept of grace in the Sermon on the Mount.