The psychology of forgiveness and its importance in South Africa
Worthington, Everett L.
Cowden, Richard G.
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The purpose of this qualitative review is to stimulate empirical research on forgiveness within South Africa (and other portions of Africa). The article explores a Western understanding of the psychology of forgiveness, including its definition as distinct from reconciliation, its sequelae, and its predictors. Findings are examined with particular emphasis on differences between research in more Westernised societies (i.e., United States and Western Europe), where most of the forgiveness research has historically occurred, and research in South Africa. A culturally sensitive approach to the study of forgiveness and reconciliation in South Africa was utilised, and the extant research on forgiveness in South Africa was briefly reviewed. The article informs emergent forgiveness researchers about ways to effectively launch Africa-centric studies and outlines future directions in the field to researchers who are already involved in conducting forgiveness research. Thus, a research agenda is suggested for making an impact on the field of forgiveness, on forgiveness in Africa, (particularly) on forgiveness research in South Africa, and on reconciliation and the furthering of peace
- Faculty of Health Sciences