You are here

Communicating Forgiveness

Communicating Forgiveness

September 2007 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Communicating Forgiveness provides a synthesis of the literature on forgiveness in relationships, with special emphasis on the central but understudied role of interpersonal communication. Authors Vincent Waldron and Douglas Kelley define forgiveness as a communication process which allows partners to confront relational wrong doing, manage intense emotional responses, forgo legitimate claims to revenge, and potentially repair the relationship. They see forgiveness as a positive, hopeful alternative to estrangement, bitterness and retribution. By focusing on communication behaviors and offering research-based guidance on effective forgiveness practices, the authors present an alternative to the prevailing psychological frameworks. Communicating Forgiveness offers new insights to anyone interested in the dynamics of personal and work relationships, conflict management, relational justice, family functioning, and related topics.
1. Conceptual Foundations
Why Is Forgiveness Important?

Theological Foundations

Social Science Approaches

2. Elements of the Forgiveness Process
Sensitizing Concepts: Communication as an Observational Lens

Transgressions and Traumatic Relational Events

Relational Context

Individual Factors

Communication Processes

Relationship Outcomes


3. Theorizing Forgiveness
Dialectical Theory

Uncertainty Management Frameworks

Identity Management Theories

Towards Negotiated Morality Theory (NMT) of Forgiveness

4. Communicating Forgiveness
The Forgiveness Episode: Six Communication Processes

Revealing and Detecting Transgressions

Managing Emotions

Making Sense

Seeking Forgiveness

Granting Forgiveness

Relationship Negotiation and Transition

Concluding Thoughts

5. Practicing Forgiveness
Five Reasons to Forgive

The Dark Side of Forgiveness

Prescriptive Models of Forgiveness

Communication Tasks of Forgiveness (CTF): A New Prescriptive Model

Reconciliation: A Possible Outcome of Forgiveness

Contributions From Long-Term Couples

Concluding Thoughts

6. Studying Forgiveness: Methodological Conundrums and Transformational Experiences
Why Do We Study Forgiveness?

Conceptual Definition: What Is Forgiveness Anyway?

Picking Our Paradigm: Which Questions Matter Most?

How Do You Measure Forgiveness?


About the Authors

"Waldron and Kelley successfully weave in examples from their qualitiative studies to illustrate various forgivemess concepts. The qualitative approach is a nice complement to the mostly quantitative work done in personal relationships. The authors provide insight into important methodological considerations such as conceptual definitions of forgiveness and measurement issues. The book fits nicely with the positive psychology movement. I found it refreshing to see a book that tackles how people can recover from such serious transgressions."

Karen Wilson

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Vincent R. Waldron

Vincent R. Waldron is Professor of Communication Studies at Arizona State University, where he teaches courses on communication in work and personal relationships. Professor Waldron received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1989. Dr. Waldron’s research explores how employees manage difficult workplace encounters, such as expressing intense emotion, exercising upward influence, and repairing damaged relationships. The author of two previous books on these subjects, Professor Waldron has published his work in such outlets as the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Management Communication Quarterly, and Communication... More About Author

Douglas L. Kelley

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412939713
ISBN: 9781412939706

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.