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DOI 10.12887/31-2018-2-122-07

Fr. Romuald JAWORSKI – Between Hurt and Reconciliation: Reflections on Harm and Forgiveness

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The article comprises an analysis of the phenomenon of harm conceived of as a multifarious mental experience embracing the spheres of emotions, intellect, and decision making. The author also points to the relation between the subjective feeling of having been wronged and the spiritual sense of the goal of life and the purpose of suffering.

The feeling that comes to the foreground in the experience of harm, or wrong, is that of having been treated unjustly. Yet one needs to distinguish actual harm from the subjective feeling of having been wronged, the latter being not always adequate to the actual harm that has been done to the person in question. In a discussion of the various manifestations of the experience of harm and of its complex symptomatology the feelings and psychological traits of the wrongdoers as well as those of the wronged ones must be considered. The paper, however, does not analyse merely psychological aspects of the experience of harm, but it points to the relation of the experience in question to the spiritual sphere, which comprises the concept of the purpose and meaning of suffering and of its religious significance.

In the second part of the article, strategies of dealing with harm, or wrong, have been discussed, in particular the determinants, causes and stages of the experience of having been harmed, or wronged. Against this background the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation has been emphasized: they are effective strategies that help in healing the ‘wound’ an experience of harm opens. The concluding part of the paper comprises some practical suggestions as to ways of dealing with the experience of harm, or wrong.

Keywords: harm, wrong, experience of being harmed, wrongdoer, the wronged one, the process of forgiveness, wrong and religion

Contact: Katedra Psychologii Religii, Instytut Psychologii,
Wydział Filozofii Chrześcijańskiej, Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego,
ul. Wóycickiego 1/3, bud. 14, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland

E-mail: romualdjaworski@wp.pl

Phone: +48 5699609


Pliki do pobrania:

» 122_Jaworski.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887