'Hate the sin but not the sinner': Forgiveness and condemnation

Kelly Hamilton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Forgiveness is traditionally thought of as the forswearing of resentment. Resentment has been argued to be a moral emotion, tightly interrelated with moral protest against a wrongdoing. This has lead to forgiveness being thought of as the forgetting or condoning of wrongdoing. I will argue for a concept of forgiveness that is 'uncompromising' for it does not involve giving up one's judgements about the wrongdoing. I will argue that resentment should be understood as a type of reactive attitude, and that this means that it is not necessarily connected with moral protest. I will show that forgiveness is better understood as the overcoming of reactive attitudes (which includes resentment, but also indignation, anger, and other similar emotions). This will allow for forgiveness to be compatible with maintaining condemnation of wrongdoing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalSouth African Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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