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Jules van Schaijik

What his contrition has to do with my forgiveness

Jul. 24, 2012, at 3:24pm

I gather that Cath2u's question (in a comment under Janet Smith's latest post), "What's my forgiveness got to do with the other person's contrition?" is meant to be rhetorical, (the answer, of course, being "nothing at all.") But I propose to take it seriously as a question, because it touches on an issue central to the topic of repentance and forgiveness (and to personalism generally), namely, our profound dependence on one another.

To give a good idea of what I mean by this dependence, and to indicate how deep it goes, let me quote from John Crosby's great book The Selfhood of the Human Person:

The unconditional acceptance of me by another person, or by the entire social milieu in which

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