• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Awards:

Sue DeWine Distinguished Book of the Year

Communicating Forgiveness is the first book to take a truly communicative look at the process of forgiveness. Authors Vincent R. Waldron and Douglas L. Kelley provide a synthesis of the literature on forgiveness in relationships. Grounded in real-life forgiveness narratives, this interdisciplinary text (pulling from such related fields as psychology, counseling, family studies, peace studies, conflict management, religious studies, and organizational behavior) offers a hopeful framework for negotiating healthy and just responses to relational disappointments.

Key Features

Conceptualizes forgiveness as communication: Offering an alternative to predominant psychological approaches, this is the first book to focus on specific communication behaviors associated with forgiveness.; Provides an emotional connection: Real- life narratives from long-term couples, friends, family members, and coworkers make the text readable and relevant to today's relationships.; Includes a chapter on the practice of forgiveness: Practical advice and specific guidelines resonate well with readers as they apply to genuine friendships, romances, families, and workplaces.; Offers path-breaking theory development: The book organizes existing forgiveness research around a descriptive communication framework, demonstrating how existing psychological research can be enriched through the application of communication theories.; Presents a highly personal closing chapter: In the final chapter the authors provide a personal account of their experiences as researchers through “On the Drive Home” vignettes that convey key lessons learned.

Intended Audience

This is an excellent supplemental text for a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as Conflict Management, Interpersonal Communication, Family Communication, Communication in Personal Relationships, Psychology of Personal Relationships, Counseling, and Peace Studies in the departments of Communication, Psychology, Family Studies, and Counseling.

Theorizing Forgiveness
Theorizing forgiveness

This chapter demonstrates how theories of communication can enrich understanding of forgiveness processes. For traditional social scientists, theories are explanatory frameworks. A given theory offers a logic for understanding how complex social processes work. Communication theories are primarily concerned with explaining the role of symbolic behavior, including the tactics relational partners use to seek and grant forgiveness and their effects on relational outcomes. In this sense, theories do more than simply describe the “parts” of a communication process, as we did in Chapter 2. Instead, they make specific claims about how and why communication functions in human relationships. So, in Chapter 2 we simply described the elements of forgiveness episodes, such as relational history, the transgression, and communication processes. But here we ...

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