Ethics and Practice of Forgiveness HTE657H

Instructor: Al Fuertes, PhD

Al Fuertes, PhD (MA 1997), Associate Professor at George Mason University’s School of Integrative Studies in Fairfax, Virginia, will teach a special version of Ethics and Practice of Forgiveness: When Polarization Persists in Church and Society in 2022. Running online from May 9 through July 22, this three-credit-hour class will meet June 13–18 for an intensive week on campus (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, with breaks). Auditors and guest students are welcome.

In settings of protracted conflict and violence where human relationships are torn apart and cultural formations destroyed, how do people approach the process of forgiveness? What role do faith and the congregation play in forgiveness? What lessons about forgiveness can we learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and from Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide? Can faith communities choose not to forgive? What does the ethics of forgiveness entail? Can forgiveness be imposed upon a community or an individual in pain? What are the benefits and limits of forgiveness?  

The course will explore the nature and dynamics of forgiveness from a Christian theological account in particular and from interdisciplinary perspectives in general: moral philosophy, biblicocultural, psychosocial-political and practical perspectives. Both biblical and contemporary narratives ranging from intra-/interpersonal to congregational/institutional as well as national and global levels will be explored and discussed. The class will employ workshop-style facilitation, lectures, individual and small group sharing and discussion, body movement, biblically/theologically based reflections and circle formations.

Ready to register for a course as a guest?

If you are not yet an admitted student at AMBS and are not enrolled at another seminary, college, or university, we’re happy to register you as a guest student. If you are enrolled at one of our partnership schools, learn more about our registering through our partnerships.