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9. Repentance as a Response to Violence in the Dynamic of Forgiveness

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the meaning of repentance as a personal emotion. By emotion, one means those experiences that both exhibit either a positive or negative valence and pertain to the spiritual dimension of the human being as person. Emotions are most qualified in moral and religious terms, whereas affects are significant in an impersonal manner. Personal emotions, furthermore, have the following structural characteristics: They possess temporal orientations, their relation to being is modalized in terms of possibility, and they have a relation to otherness. Nevertheless, in repentance, one has to be ready to be forgiven, and to accept the forgiveness, even if there is "no effort". But to receive forgiveness, the offended party has to grant it in a nonrepresentable solidarity. And this is precisely the tragedy of the violence of murder, and the irresolvable nature of the situation presented by Simon Wiesenthal in The Sunflower.

Keywords: forgiveness; The Sunflower; violence



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