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Communicating Forgiveness

Communicating Forgiveness

November 2007 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Communicating Forgiveness provides a synthesis of the literature on forgiveness in relationships, with special emphasis on the central but understudied role of interpersonal communication. Authors Vincent Waldron and Douglas Kelley define forgiveness as a communication process which allows partners to confront relational wrong doing, manage intense emotional responses, forgo legitimate claims to revenge, and potentially repair the relationship. They see forgiveness as a positive, hopeful alternative to estrangement, bitterness and retribution. By focusing on communication behaviors and offering research-based guidance on effective forgiveness practices, the authors present an alternative to the prevailing psychological frameworks. Communicating Forgiveness offers new insights to anyone interested in the dynamics of personal and work relationships, conflict management, relational justice, family functioning, and related topics.
1. Conceptual Foundations
Why Is Forgiveness Important?

Theological Foundations

Social Science Approaches

2. Elements of the Forgiveness Process
Sensitizing Concepts: Communication as an Observational Lens

Transgressions and Traumatic Relational Events

Relational Context

Individual Factors

Communication Processes

Relationship Outcomes


3. Theorizing Forgiveness
Dialectical Theory

Uncertainty Management Frameworks

Identity Management Theories

Towards Negotiated Morality Theory (NMT) of Forgiveness

4. Communicating Forgiveness
The Forgiveness Episode: Six Communication Processes

Revealing and Detecting Transgressions

Managing Emotions

Making Sense

Seeking Forgiveness

Granting Forgiveness

Relationship Negotiation and Transition

Concluding Thoughts

5. Practicing Forgiveness
Five Reasons to Forgive

The Dark Side of Forgiveness

Prescriptive Models of Forgiveness

Communication Tasks of Forgiveness (CTF): A New Prescriptive Model

Reconciliation: A Possible Outcome of Forgiveness

Contributions From Long-Term Couples

Concluding Thoughts

6. Studying Forgiveness: Methodological Conundrums and Transformational Experiences
Why Do We Study Forgiveness?

Conceptual Definition: What Is Forgiveness Anyway?

Picking Our Paradigm: Which Questions Matter Most?

How Do You Measure Forgiveness?


About the Authors

"Waldron and Kelley successfully weave in examples from their qualitiative studies to illustrate various forgivemess concepts. The qualitative approach is a nice complement to the mostly quantitative work done in personal relationships. The authors provide insight into important methodological considerations such as conceptual definitions of forgiveness and measurement issues. The book fits nicely with the positive psychology movement. I found it refreshing to see a book that tackles how people can recover from such serious transgressions."

Karen Wilson

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

For instructors

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