Zefat Academic College in Israel will be hosting the 2nd International Conference on Forgiveness next summer, July 9-11, 2024. The conference website describes the conference as an event where ‘scholars, experts, and practitioners in relevant fields’ will present and discuss the following themes:
- Forgiveness as a human experience
- Forgiving within an intra/intercultural context
- The forgiver and the forgiven relationship
- Being forgiven
- Forgiveness, justice, and the law
- Forgiveness – values, virtues, and ethics
- Forgiveness in religious, social, and political conflicts
- Religious and spiritual perspectives on forgiveness
One of the keynote speakers is Dr. Suzanne Freedman, longtime member of the International Forgiveness Institute team! She will be giving a presentation entitled ‘Guidelines for Forgiveness Therapy: What Therapists Need to Know to Help Their Clients Forgive.’
If you are interested in contributing to the 2nd International Conference on Forgiveness yourself, you are invited to submit your application to present a lecture at the upcoming conference. You may choose to submit one or more types of presentation:
- Individual presentations
- Pre-arranged panels
The Conference Organizing Committee is unable to process email submissions so please ensure that all applications are submitted between September 1, 2023 and January 1, 2024 via this Google Form link.
All submissions will undergo peer review. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent by February 1, 2024.
For more information about the conference and the types of submissions, please visit the conference website.
For further information, you may also contact the conference organizers at: email@example.com
Dr. Enright and the International Forgiveness Institute are one of the ‘Six Things Psychologists are Talking About’….
The American Psychological Association (APA) features a monthly column on their website entitled ‘Six Things Psychologists Are Talking About’ and in August of this year they featured a podcast interview with Dr. Enright on the healing power of forgiveness as one of the ‘six things’! The episode is entitled ‘The Power of Forgiving Those Who’ve Hurt You’ and features a wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Enright as he shares what forgiveness is, how it can help people grow and heal in a variety of ways, and how the forgiveness education initiatives sponsored by the International Forgiveness Institute have impacted thousands of children and communities around the world. The podcast is roughly 30 minutes and is great to listen to while driving, taking a walk, or even folding laundry. 🙂
Enright shared the following in the podcast regarding what inspires him to keep doing the work of forgiveness education after 38 years:
What keeps me going is the passion for what we find. It has actually surprised me, the strength of the findings when people are gravely hurting psychologically, and are healed from, let’s say, major depressive disorder. And that gives me a hope, and the hope keeps me going, that we can indeed create a better world, one heart at a time. And so, I would say on the table as my wishlist, more insight that forgiveness education is worthwhile for children and adolescents. And, here’s a big one, community forgiveness. And we’re actually starting to work on that in different war-torn communities, especially in Africa.
We’ve been approached by four different communities in different geographic areas of Africa. Coming to us, saying, “Can you help us? We have had civil wars.” I just had a meeting this past week with someone from an African community who told me one million people, Kim, one million people have died in this century from the civil wars. And he said, “We need to bring forgiveness into communities, into individual hearts, families and communities, and then community to community.” But see, both communities have to be astute enough and motivated enough to become well-versed in forgiveness. And then, what will happen? I want to find out.
Be sure to check out the podcast to hear more about the power of forgiveness to bring healing to you, your loved ones, and the world!
Mary Lou Coons, who was recognized with a Partnership Achievement Award in December 2022 by the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI), is a ventriloquist and the founder of Puppets for Peace. She has recently produced, together with her red-haired puppet Lily, video recordings of all the children’s books referenced and used in Dr. Enright’s Pre-K and Kindergarten IFI curriculum guides including:
- You Are My I Love You
- No Matter What
- Fill a Bucket
- I Love My New Toy
- A Birthday for Frances
- Papa, Do You Love Me?
- I Love You Stinky Face
- Little Fur Family
- It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny
- Will You Forgive Me?
- The Runaway Bunny
The videos, which range between roughly three to six minutes, include an introduction by Lily with Mary Lou reading the entire book, word for word. She also produced a 10-minute video recording of Dr. Enright’s Rising Above the Storm Clouds (part of the 4th-grade curriculum program), the only video version of the book available anywhere.
The IFI offers teachers and others who obtain curriculum guides a directory of online video recordings that can supplement the guides and be shown to students who are learning about forgiveness. We are extremely grateful to Mary Lou that we can now include her ‘Puppets for Peace’ videos as supplements for the Pre-K, K, and 4th-grade curriculum!
The Summer 2023 edition of On Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin’s magazine for communicating with alumni and the general public, features a full-length interview with Dr. Robert Enright, highlighting how he developed the study of forgiveness over his years in academia to contribute something of real value to people who are suffering.
Dr. Enright, International Forgiveness Institute co-founder, shares how an academic crisis led to his studying of forgiveness. As he is quoted in the article, he began to wrestle with the question, “What happens to people when they’re thrown to the mat of life by others being unfair? How do they get out of that?”
The article, entitled ‘Peace in the Wake of Pain’, goes on to share how Dr. Enright and his team have helped abused youth, prison inmates, and others who have experienced deep pain and anger discover healing and peace through entering into the process of forgiveness.
The On Wisconsin feature is a wonderful opportunity for many people to hear the good news about forgiveness and its potential for healing, peace, and restoration for individuals, families, and communities. Please share generously!
“Over the past 35 years, Enright and his colleagues have worked almost exclusively with people who have been deeply traumatized and are looking for a way out of their pain,” according to the article. “Enright says people who have suffered deeply for a long time — victims of domestic abuse, incest, and political violence, for example — are often the most likely to commit to the difficult process of forgiving the injustices done to them.”
From your recent posts here, it seems that there are many misunderstandings about what forgiving is. Why do you think there are so many misunderstandings out there?
I agree that there are many misunderstandings of forgiveness in the general public, in mental health professionals who are trying to help people to heal, and in scholars who publish articles on forgiveness. I think this is the case because most people, including mental health professionals and scholars, have never examined the term forgiveness from a philosophical perspective. This often results in a failure of understanding what Aristotle called “the specific difference” between forgiveness and other related ideas such as “just moving on” or reconciling or even just engaging in a few psychological techniques such as writing a letter that is not sent to the offending person. Forgiveness as a moral virtue takes time and practice. It includes thinking in new ways about the offending person, waiting for softer emotions to emerge, and deciding whether or not to reconcile. So often people miss some or even all of these important points, thus distorting what forgiving actually is.