Sunday, November 13, 2005

Justine's first post: a book recommendation

I want to recommend The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal. The first half of the book is a story in which a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp is asked for forgiveness from an SS Nazi on his deathbed. The story was so compelling that I read the hundred page tale in one sitting and then found myself submerged in deep thought for a long time as I struggled to answer the question posed to the reader in the last sentence.

The second half of the book is a collection of essays by various theologians, politicians, philosophers, and writers (such as Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Harold Kushner) in response to Wiesenthal's story.

Before reading this book I had not thought about what forgiveness essentially is; it was a concept I had taken for granted. Truly it is worth a deep examination so that we can exercise forgiveness in a more meaningful way.

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