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Kamma and Forgiveness with some Thoughts on Cambodia

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In this article, I give some notes on kamma and forgiveness. The doctrines of kamma and forgiveness or grace are central notions in Buddhism and Christianity, and contrary to what looks different at first sight, they may show similarities in terms of 'salvation'.

In the first paragraph, I explain, to a very limited extent, the concept of kamma in Theravada Buddhist tradition. In the second paragraph, I maintain that comparing kamma and grace is not correct, but that a comparison between meditation and grace could be more promising. In the third paragraph, narratives from the Pali canon illustrate Buddhist notions that show similarity to forgiveness. The possibility of a royal pardon is the theme of the fourth paragraph. The last paragraph hints at the possible relevance of the thoughts developed in this article for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and gives some additional food for further thinking.

Affiliations: 1: PhD researcher in Cambodia;, Email:


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