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Religions 2019, 10(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010044

“Mere” Christian Forgiveness: An Ecumenical Christian Conceptualization of Forgiveness through the Lens of Stress-And-Coping Theory

1
Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Box 842018, Richmond, VA 23284-2018, USA
2
School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA
3
Department of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract

Forgiveness is a central theme within the Christian faith, yet Christian traditions sometimes vary in how they understand and approach the forgiveness process. Nevertheless, in this paper, we present an ecumenical model of Christian forgiveness that highlights the essential components that are shared across most Christian traditions. Importantly, rather than using a theological lens to develop and describe this model, we have primarily used a psychological lens. Specifically, we have adopted stress-and-coping theory as the psychological framework for understanding a Christian conceptualization of forgiveness. We identify four types of forgiveness (divine forgiveness, self-forgiveness, person-to-person forgiveness, and organizational–societal forgiveness) and describe a Christian conceptualization of each one, filtered through the psychological perspective of stress-and-coping theory. View Full-Text
Keywords: forgiveness; stress; coping; Christian forgiveness; stress; coping; Christian
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Worthington, E.L., Jr.; Rueger, S.Y.; Davis, E.B.; Wortham, J. “Mere” Christian Forgiveness: An Ecumenical Christian Conceptualization of Forgiveness through the Lens of Stress-And-Coping Theory. Religions 2019, 10, 44.

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