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Humility and Forgiveness: The Role of Social Relations among Three Ethnic Groups

Explore the Science of Forgiveness

During the late 1990s, in the aftermath of the fall of Communism, Nelson Mandela’s election in South Africa, and an easing of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the world faced a new era in which former enemies tried to work with each other. Forgiveness took on new significance beyond religion, with which it had often been associated. The John Templeton Foundation issued a call for proposals that resulted in 20 funded grants, establishment of the non-profit organization, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, which funded eight additional grants, and a total of almost $10 million put toward research on forgiveness. By…

Ecclesial Theology and the Virtue of Forgiveness

Video: The Science of Forgiveness

Learn about the latest research in the science of forgiveness with Dr. Amrisha Vaish, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and leader of a project studying the development of forgiveness supported by the John Templeton Foundation. She discusses studies demonstrating that young children are drawn to those who show remorse, suggesting that forgiveness is a deep-seated and important ability for our species. So why do we all sometimes struggle to do it? This is the second video in our series of interviews produced by the independent media company Freethink. Watch the first episode here, which features…

Building virtue: environmental and social influences on the development of fairness, forgiveness, honesty, and trustworthiness

The Science of Forgiveness

WATCH: For Children, Saying ‘Sorry’ Is One Thing. Understanding What It Means Is Another.

Along with "please" and "thank you," saying sorry is one of the earliest phrases that many parents teach their children. They do this because it's an important nicety: people say "sorry" to show remorse, to ask for forgiveness, and to show basic concern and awareness of others' needs. But when do children really understand the significance of apologies? When do they begin to care whether a person shows remorse for doing harm -- for ripping up a child's picture, for example, or pushing someone to the ground? These are some of the questions driving the research of Dr. Amrisha Vaish, associate…

Prayer, Relationships, and Health

Over the course of dozens of studies, Frank Fincham has compiled an impressive list of ways that prayer and forgiveness make a difference. Frank Fincham, who holds an endowed chair of the Florida State University College of Human Sciences, is a former Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford doctorate and a long track record of insightful study of relationships, religious practice, and health. In 2011 he was the recipient, as director of the FSU Family Institute, of a $1.13 million, four-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to investigate the ways that prayer and forgiveness affect relational well-being and physical health.…

The Question of Character: Equipping the Next Generation

Research: The Surprising Power of Prayer in Relationships

Scientists explore prayer’s power to change us—and how we care for others In moments of joy, delight, and wonder, humans pray. In great need, in adulation, in fear and trembling, humans pray. To Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu, to our ancestors, to God—and to gods—humans pray. We pray even if we don’t know what—or if—we believe. For as long as humans have a history, we see signs of prayer. The human impulse to pray is reflected across millennia of art and culture. In contemporary times, movies and books are rife with characters casting themselves on a higher power. Beyond the ubiquitous…