SPARK 2020: Forgiving the Unforgivable – Cancelled
2 Lake Street, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Forgiving the Unforgivable? The Ethics of Apologies
Prof. Aaron Hahn Tapper, University of San Francisco
The notion of forgiveness is central to the human experience. It is a component of one’s relationship with other individuals, other collectives, and even oneself. But what does forgiveness mean? When someone forgives someone else, what happens? This three-part seminar explores forgiveness in terms of inter-personal, intranational (between those within the same country), and international situations alongside the interdependent idea of apologies. After looking at forgiveness and apologies in terms of its general application (i.e., in everyday lives), we will study the ritualization of national apologies, including the case example of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (e.g., in Sierra Leone and South Africa), political apologies in the context of the United States (e.g., enslaved Africans, imprisoned Japanese Americans, maltreatment of Native Americans), and the reconciliation efforts made by the Australian government (primarily represented by Whites) and indigenous Australian communities of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
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