Decategorization, re-categorization and mutual intergroup differentiation. Aug 25, Bill Pritchard rated it liked it. The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct", Mr. McCullough takes on the fast growing field of Forgiveness.
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The book deals with three basic, yet deeply fundamental questions - Why is revenge such a pervasive and destructive problem? Why is the desire for revenge so tempting? Why is forgiveness so difficult? What must we do to create a less vengeful, more forgiving world? McCullough tackles these questions by challenging centuries-old misconceptions about revenge and forgiveness. He contends that the desire for revenge should not be likened to a "disease" or a "poison" that makes people do terrible things to each other.
Instead, he suggests that natural selection created our penchant for revenge because it helped our ancestors solve social dilemmas they encountered during our evolution. It is a problem today, Mr. McCullough suggests, because it was a solution during our ancestral past. Forgiveness is also not the antidote or cure. Our capacity to forgive evolved because it helped our ancestors preserve relationships with relatives and other valuable partners.
When almost every day we encounter stories that make it seem so difficult, if not impossible to forgive. McCullough, through examples of extraordinary people who's ability to forgive the seemingly unforgiveable - for example the story of Bud Welch and his ability to forgive the man who killed his daughter - along with others - one Tim McVeigh, shows that the key to a more forgiving, less vengeful world is to understand the forces that gave rise to these intimately human traits, the social forces that activate them in human minds today, and the changes that are necessary to make our relationships and social institutions better at activating the forgiveness instinct inside all of us.
It is at times a tough read, due to the subject matter and the writers attention to citing sources, but it was a book that I am glad I read. Apr 02, Megan rated it liked it. This one has been on my "to read" list for years. My expectation was of a book with lots of anecdotes about super-forgivers, but aside from the introduction, this book takes on a much more scientific tone, describing volumes of evidence that shows that rather than revenge being the disease to which forgiveness is the cure, both have evolved alongside each other in many species to further cooperation.
Loses a couple of stars from me because the author's retelling of the outcomes of various experi This one has been on my "to read" list for years. Loses a couple of stars from me because the author's retelling of the outcomes of various experiments regarding revenge and forgiveness got a bit clunky and difficult to follow. I think that's why it took me so long to get through it. But otherwise, a fascinating book. I will be thinking about the book's main thesis for a long time: Forgiveness is the cure. Revenge is nothing more than wanton, nihilistic violence. Revenge is the product of sick minds and sick societies.
Forgiveness is completely foreign to human nature. Somebody somewhere "discovered" or "invented" forgiveness. It's time to put these myths to rest. Our propensity for revenge and our ability to forgive are both innate, they're both governed by an elegant adaptive logic, they're both receptive to changes in our social and ecological circumstances, they're both naturally evoked by specific environmental inputs, and they're both sensitive to cultural influences.
And, they're both intimately human. I consider "Beyond Forgiveness" to be one of the most important books of our time, as it addresses one of--if not the most--core reasons that we as a humanity are perched at the edge of deepening crises--or--possible opportunities to evolve to the higher reaches of our collective heart and soul. Thanks to Azim Khamisa, Phil Cousineau and all the contributors. There are many books out there right now on Forgiveness, and rightfully so, since forgiveness is one of the most healing acts that we can do for ourselves and others.
But there are no other books, to my knowledge, that also focus on atonement, which is defined in this book as the companion of forgiveness, the missing piece between forgiveness and reconciliation. Just by reading the introduction to the book, I realized that I was delving into territory I had never thought about before, territory that I needed to explore.
Atonement is something many of us have come to associate only with religion, and that is a shame. I thought the same thing until I read the book, which opened up a new door of understanding for me. This is a collection of essays written by authors from different religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, authors of mixed race and gender and experience. Each one has a different story of atonement to tell, and by reading through all the essays together, I was able to see the value of atonement as a universally-healing act.
It is difficult for me to explain the impact that this book had on me, because its effects are subtle and profound, and still making themselves known. As I read through the book I saw myself in all the essays. In some of the essays I saw my political self, and in others, my family self, my student self, my intimate relationship self. The essays reveal different faces of atonement, and suggest how it can be used to heal our selves, our relationships with others, and even our broken socio-cultural structures. Beyond Forgiveness is not marketed as a self-help book; it is not an academic book; and it is not a mere set of stories.
It is a philosophical work and at the same time a practical guide.
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To help with the practical piece, for those who want it there is a study guide that goes with the book on the companion website, [ This is not a heavy book, though the theme can be serious. Phil Cousineau has done a wonderful job making the theme of atonement easy to swallow and easy to love. It is an easy read, lively, varied, positive, and suggestive of movement, growth and transformation. It is a book for this moment in time, one that can help people all over learn to heal our broken society and families, etc.
I highly recommend the book, for the lay reader, as well as for veterans, prisoners, clergy, addicts, educators, lawyers As I said, it is a quick read and well worth the time! This book is for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of how atonement can bring peace to one's heart and to the planet. It is a must read for people of all ages. The different perspectives on atonement which are compiled in this extraordinary book are inspiring and enlightening. As one of the contributing authors Katharine Dever explains, "It is only the action, restitution, or required gesture that fully rights a wrong.
This book challenges us to look more closely at our own actions and see the interconnectedness of all life. Whether it be at the individual level or at a group level, it is through atonement that wrongs can be healed and peace created. Like all of Phil Cousineau's books, this is a thought provoking book on a very relevant topic for our times.
I highly recommend it! See all 10 reviews. Most recent customer reviews.
Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct
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The key to forgiveness is the refusal to seek revenge | Giles Fraser | UK news | The Guardian
Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. But most likely God does not expect her to restore the situation to a fully functional marriage. The general rule in healthy Christian community is that God always expects us to forgive, but does not always expect us to reconcile or restore. Forgiveness can happen unilaterally; reconciliation and restoration take the full participation of all parties. Lewis Smedes' book Forgive and Forget taught me a lot about forgiveness and reconciliation.
I've recommended it to countless people over the years. If you are teaching on the topic of Forgiveness and Reconciliation, or if you are struggling with this issue in your life, I highly recommend this book. It is short, simple, and very helpful. My editor and wife, Robin, helped me see and separate the concept of reconciliation into two concepts: Faith is a Gift. Leading a Bible Study. Let's Pray to End Terror. Prayer Tips for All. Those Who Never Heard. Weight of Glory revisited. Why Join a Local Church? Fiscal Cliff in Perspective.
Premarriage Counseling - online. Video Hangouts for Beginners. Contact Tim or Robin. Forgiveness Forgiveness is when I release a wrongdoer from their offense.
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The forgiveness test Sometimes people ask me for help with a relationship problem and after listening for 30 minutes or so, I realize that their whole story is about some hurt from their distant past. Body - ask God to bless their physical needs. Labor - ask God to bless their work or schoolwork. Emotions - ask God to bless their emotions. Social - ask God to bless their social interactions with friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors.
Spiritual - ask God to bless their spiritual life. The abusive husband Suppose a husband physically and emotionally abused his wife over many years and did so in full view of the children. Summary Forgiveness means letting go of the offense so that when we see the perpetrator come around the corner our heart wishes them well. God expects his followers to forgive, even when the perpetrator does not or cannot ask for it. Reconciliation means re-establishing a healthy working relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.