A review of the psychological process of forgiveness within Simon Wiesenthal’s ‘The Sunflower’
Thesis (MA (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
This paper examines the notion of forgiveness by highlighting the personal psychological experience that may be discarded in the moral and political debate. Faced with his dilemma of whether or not to forgive the heinous crimes of a dying man, Simon Wiesenthal’s invites readers of his personal story in The Sunflower to ask themselves what they would have done in his place. Most respondents have considered this a moral, theological or political issue. This paper chooses to view his question from a psychological perspective. By analysing his autobiographical account in The Sunflower and process model of forgiveness developed by Enright and the Human Development Study Group (1991, 1994), Wiesenthal’s psychological responses have been investigated on behavioural, cognitive and emotional levels.