Towards a pedagogy of forgiveness: lessons from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marcia E. Weston (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
H. Svi Shapiro

Abstract: This study explores forgiveness as human behaviors as opposed to an emotional response following perceived wrongdoing. Focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the purpose of this study is to critically investigate the concepts of forgiveness through philosophical, religious, historical, and practical lenses as understood by those who are intimately involved in the conflict’s resolution. The aim is to determine how the application of forgiving behaviors may be effective in creating and sustaining moral relations and social justice consciousness whether or not an offense has occurred. Forgiving behaviors are defined as those human capacities, such as empathy, sympathy, love, benevolence, and trust, that are referenced as ethics of forgiveness, and are determined to be essential to humanitarian practices among local and global communities. Through a qualitative case study methodology, testimonies by twelve participants (four Israelis, four Palestinians, and four Americans) provide insight into the deeply embedded conflict and share their views on the role that forgiveness and ethics of forgiveness play in its resolution. Four research questions frame the study as a whole and are the basis of the participant interview questions, which are reported and analyzed in Chapters IV and V. Additionally, five challenges to forgiveness have been identified and explored that contribute to its effectiveness in conflict resolution. The greatest challenge is the military occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli government that purposefully denies basic human rights and daily living needs such as water and electricity to Palestinian people. As well, the taking of Palestinian land to build Israeli settlements results in displacement of Palestinian families into refugee camps and the increased building of a constructed wall further divides Palestinian territories and Israel. This study also includes description of efforts by participants and others to bring resolution to the conflict. Key findings offer possibilities for change based on the necessity for practices of ethics of forgiveness which reflect humanitarian interactions among perceived enemies. The environment that can best create these practices is the educational setting, thus a pedagogy of forgiveness is highlighted as providing hope for conflict resolution and demand for human, moral treatment of all people.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Conflict Resolution, Ethics of Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Oppression, Pedagogy
Arab-Israeli conflict $x Psychological aspects
Conflict management $z Israel $v Case studies
Jewish-Arab relations $v Case studies
Oppression (Psychology)

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