CSPH 5215: Forgiveness and Healing: A Journey Toward Wholeness

This course is offered in remote online format. Please see the Schedule Builder for synchronous meeting dates and times.

Graduate Students, undergraduate students with junior status or above, or instructor consent.
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Course Description

This course will examine the impact of forgiveness on the process of inter-personal and intra-personal healing, as well as healing of conflict and trauma at the intergroup level. Forgiveness and healing will be examined in the context of intense interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts in multiple health care and social work settings, including in families, between physicians and nurses, between patients/clients and nurses/social workers, within communities, among friends, between co-workers, or within ourselves. Forgiveness will also be examined in the larger global context and how principles and practices of forgiveness are being applied in some of the most entrenched political and violent conflicts, such as in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Liberia, Rwanda, and Israel/Palestine. This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the central elements of forgiveness and healing in the context of multiple micro and macro life settings.

The concepts of forgiveness and healing will be examined from multiple spiritual and secular traditions. The underlying philosophical elements of forgiveness and healing will be critically assessed and beliefs and rituals from numerous indigenous and European traditions will be presented and examined. The focus will be upon gaining a more grounded understanding of the process of forgiveness and its potential impact upon emotional and relational healing. The concepts of forgiveness and healing will be addressed in a very broad and inclusive manner, with no assumptions made related to their specific cultural context or meaning. Empirical studies that have examined the impact of forgiveness upon emotional and physical healing will be reviewed.

Concepts such as forgiveness and healing are inseparable from the concept of spirituality. For the purposes of the course, spirituality is not synonymous with the dogma and creeds of the major religious traditions in the world, even though religion for many may serve as a pathway to spirituality. Practices within the major religions of the world that foster forgiveness and healing, however, will be explored, along with practices within Native American, Canadian Aboriginal, Native Hawaiian, African, New Zealand Maori, and Eastern cultural traditions.

Contact [email protected] for additional information.

Course Format
Semester Course Offered:
  • Fall
Course Category:

CSPH 5215 Course Flyer (PDF)