The most recent issue of Studies in Christian Ethics is devoted to papers originating in the McDonald Centre Conference, Is Forgiveness Immoral?, held at Oxford last year.
The conference dealt with a cluster of questions: Is forgiveness ever appropriate at a political, rather than an interpersonal, level? Do Christians actually agree about what forgiveness is, and when it is appropriate? And how do Christian views look to philosophers? Of those who made formal presentations, Thomas Brudholm is a philosopher who had written critically of certain Christian views of forgiveness and its political role; Nigel Biggar and Stephen Williams are Christian theologians who had already disagreed in print over the role of forgiveness in post-Troubles Northern Ireland; Anthony Bash and Geoffrey Scarre are the authors of, respectively, important theological and philosophical work on forgiveness; and Philip Barnes is a Christian philosopher, who has written on forgiveness and justice in Northern Ireland. The final and additional paper on this theme has been contributed by the Reformed theologian, Michael Beintker, whose study of redeeming the past sheds light on the problem of forgiveness in the German context.