Building a Charter for Forgiveness

  • Building A Charter for Forgiveness Josef Boehle directs the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project Image Credit: Josef Boehle

  • Building A Charter for Forgiveness Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh is a leading organizer of an effort to create a Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation Image Credit: Museum of World Religions

  • Building A Charter for Forgiveness Organizers of an effort to create a Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation say the project will be a logical next step to 2009's Charter for Compassion Image Credit: commongood.info

Building a Charter for Forgiveness

A symposium sponsored in part by the Fetzer Institute serves as a springboard to action on establishing a Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation in 2015. The proposed charter aims to inspire and engage individuals, groups and communities, in public processes and in private settings, to practice forgiveness and reconciliation, seeking justice and sustainable peace.

Leading thinkers and activists from many peacemaking and reconciliation organizations will gather in Birmingham, UK to network, share ideas and to prepare  for the effort to create the charter. The event will be led by Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, spiritual leader and chair of the Sikh community Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and by Dr. Josef Boehle, Director of the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project.

The day’s agenda will include discussion of some of the key questions and issues to be considered in creating a Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Included will be discussions of forgiveness’ critical role in justice, reconciliation and peacebuilding. The proposed charter will draw on values and examples from sacred texts and from different spiritual traditions, from religious/spiritual communities and from the lives of outstanding individuals. With such paradigms, the charter will direct commitment and activities towards a growing practice of forgiveness and reconciliation.

No draft text has been developed yet for the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, and the whole collaborative chartering process is expected to take up to one year, to allow for substantial input from a wide range of backgrounds, expertise, and insights.

The Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation is viewed as a next step to the Charter for Compassion, which has drawn more than 106,000 signatures. The Charter for Compassion was created after 2008 TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong used her one wish with the prize to ask for an interfaith, global effort to bring a focus to the need for compassionate living.

The vision behind the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation is that forgiving is an activity necessary for healing and reconciliation to take place, when seeking justice and sustainable peace. 

This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on World Religions and Spiritualities.

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