FoRGo

The ideas and viewpoints expressed in the posts on the Ideas and Creations blog are solely the view of the author(s). Luther College's mission statement calls us to "embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community," and to be "enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another, by the exchange of ideas, and by the life of faith and learning." Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college are encouraged to express their views, model "good disagreement" and engage in respectful dialogue.

For several years now, Rev. Dr. Michael Barry and I have been collaborating to build awareness of the meaning, process and benefits of forgiveness. We regularly conduct research, present at a variety of venues and teach courses on forgiveness.

To facilitate the exchange of ideas and supplement our forgiveness awareness raising and education efforts, we recently launched a website on the Luther College web domain. The link is www.luther.edu/forgo. FoRGo stands for Forgiveness, Resilience, and Growth. Our mission with this site is to provide consciousness-raising around the virtue of forgiveness. That is, we want others to know about the wonders of forgiveness. We also believe that forgiveness is something that initiates an upward spiral of strength and well-being. Hence, we highlight the important personal ramifications of forgiveness—that becoming a forgiving person builds resilience and prepares you to better face future troubles and that forgiveness is a central part of growth as a person.

Philosophers and theologians have espoused the merits of forgiveness for centuries and, more recently, psychological and social sciences have added empirical evidence to support these claims. FoRGo attempts to weave together our understanding of forgiveness on all these levels and provides content that is useful to the average student, faculty, staff or community member.

Visiting the site you'll find FAQs on forgiveness, a forgiveness heroes page and a blog. Our first blog posts provide an introduction to the thinking of FoRGo and invite you to consider the merits of forgiveness. Please consider reading our blog http://www.luther.edu/forgo/blog/ and following the site. More content on how to forgive others and yourself is yet to come, and additional features will continue to be added. We'd love to hear from you, especially regarding what you might like to see us discuss on the site. In the meantime, FoRGo hate and embrace forgiveness!

Loren Toussaint

Loren Toussaint

Loren Toussaint, Luther professor of psychology and associate director of the Sierra Leone Forgiveness Project, is conducting research to broadly understand religious and spiritual factors, especially forgiveness, and how they are related to mental and physical health and wellbeing. Toussaint's research has been featured in a number of print, online and radio outlets, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Des Moines Register, Greater Good, Miller-McCune, Ladies Home Journal, Scotland on Sunday, Men's Health, Psychology Today and the Associated Press. Toussaint was interviewed on Georgia Public Broadcasting on the science behind forgiveness.

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