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The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World Hardcover – March 18, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A primer for not only finding the path for healing ourselves and the world, but for restoring balance in our biology, mind, and spirit.” (Deepak Chopra, author of What Are You Hungry For?)

“Includes instructions on how to forgive, as well as scientific and moral reasons to do so. No one is unforgiveable; it takes a moral icon such as Tutu to credibly assert this. . . . This book belongs on nightstands, shelves, and altars everywhere.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“There is no one who embodies the virtue of forgiveness like Desmond Tutu. With this book, he and his daughter take forgiveness out of the realm of mystery and offer a handbook on forgiveness, revealing this most exacting and freeing of human capacities in all its complexity and transformative achievability.” (Krista Tippett, Host/Executive Producer of On Being)

“What better guides and teachers on forgiveness than Bishop Tutu and his daughter who have lived faithfully through the hardest most demanding days of South Africa! This book meets an urgent need among us, and does so with wisdom, realism, and generosity.” (Walter Brueggemann, author of The Prophetic Imagination)

“Desmond Tutu shows each of us how to transform our pain and sorrow into hope and confidence in the future. Whether you are the head of a country or the head of a household, you will cherish his words.” (Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize recipient)

“For decades [Tutu] has been a moral titan—a voice of principle, an unrelenting champion of justice, and a dedicated peacemaker . . . an outspoken voice for freedom and justice in countries across the globe; a staunch defender of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.” (President Barack Obama)

“[Tutu’s] unofficial legacy will be his life and the story of how this tiny pastor with a huge laugh from South Africa became our global guardian.” (TIME)

“Archbishop Tutu has the ability to see our shared humanity in each person he meets, and to get us to do the same.” (Bill Clinton)

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before him, has offered us a luminous vision of love and hope. With his great warmth and compassion, Archbishop Tutu offers a spiritual message that if heeded can change lives as well as history.” (Jimmy Carter)

“I have the highest regard for my good and trusted friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I admire him for the wonderful, warm person he is and especially for the human principles he upholds.” (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

“One thing I have learned from [Tutu] . . . is that he has that constant and persistent faith that things can be better and we can do something about it. We should not find excuses not to act or not to speak out.” (Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001)

“Desmond Tutu has walked the talk all his adult life. We can all be grateful that, together with his daughter Mpho, he has now shared his secrets for why he has so much hope and joy.” (Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland)

“I doubt there is anyone on this Earth with a deeper sense of God’s presence and goodness than Archbishop Tutu.” (Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews.)

“[Tutu] was not just an anti-apartheid worker. . . . He was somebody who had thought very deeply about spiritual values and had applied them to what he was doing. In some ways that reminded me of Gandhi.” (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize)

“Bishop Tutu and his daughter Mpho reveal groundbreaking insights as to how to acknowledge and resolve our lifelong burdens of anguish and pain towards a new paradigm of transformative healing.” (Annie Lennox)

“I am lost for words to express my appreciation for this book … Desmond Tutu and his daughter show clearly that suffering, while always painful, need not destroy.” (Terry Waite, CBE)

From the Back Cover

How do I forgive?

Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has witnessed some of the worst crimes people can inflict on others. So wherever he goes, he inevitably gets asked this question. This book is his answer. Writing with his daughter, Mpho, an Anglican priest, they lay out the simple but profound truths about the significance of forgiveness, how it works, why everyone needs to know how to grant it and receive it, and why granting forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves when we have been wronged.

They explain the four-step process of forgiveness—Telling the Story, Naming the Hurt, Granting Forgiveness, and Renewing or Releasing the Relationship—as well as offer meditations, exercises, and prayers to guide the reader along the way.

"With each act of forgiveness, whether small or great, we move toward wholeness," they write. "Forgiveness is how we bring peace to ourselves and our world."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062203568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062203564
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By KiaScherr on April 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In The Book of Forgiving, Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are inviting us to join them on the path of forgiveness so that we can 'heal the world by healing each and every one of our hearts'. I was invited to share my story of forgiveness for this book, which is quite an honor, and when I received my copy upon its release, I was surprised at how much grief I hadn't yet processed as I read it. I have told my story many times, both in person and in writing. Telling the Story is the first step on this Fourfold Path of Forgiveness. Naming the Hurt is the second step on the path and this is where I had not completed the journey. I had no words to name my hurt over losing my husband and 13 year old daughter in a terrorist attack. I certainly felt it but it was so overwhelming that I plunged into the third step of Granting Forgiveness so that I could restore peace within myself. I discovered I could not truly Release the Relationship to this event and Renew my relationship with life without Naming the Hurt. Even now my eyes fill with tears as I write this. Healing the heart is a process of liberation that requires full acknowledgement of the emotional pain that splits the heart into pieces. I am so grateful to Desmond and Mpho Tutu for outlining the importance of this step and giving many examples from the stories of others who have suffered violent, unexpected losses of dear ones. By allowing ourselves to fully accept the reality by naming it, frees us from being bound by the shackles of that which cannot be changed. Forgiveness is then possible. By practicing this Fourfold Path on a regular basis we not only create inner peace, we give the gift of peace to everyone in our world.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert V. Taylor on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A raw, highly personal and practical book on how to forgive. The Tutu's bring the practicalities of forgiving to life with the promise that forgiveness is good for you. This book will lead readers to healing of affronts, injuries and old hurts and open pathways to a fuller life. They know from deep personal experience that when you forgive you become an extraordinary person.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By F. R. Nickles Jr. on September 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is probably the best book on forgiveness that I have read, and I have read many books on the subject. Most of the books that I've read just talk about all the reasons why you should forgive, and I am well aware of all the reasons why - I don't need another book telling me all the reasons - I've been looking for books that give the how do you go about this - how do you get there when you are so bitter and so angry. This is something that I struggle with more than any other issue - not only do I struggle with forgiving others, but I struggle with forgiving myself more than anything else - The struggle that I've had is why do I have to pay the price for what other people have done to me? why do I have to suffer so much - why do I have to experience so much pain. I see from this book that a person gets stuck in an endless loop that has no way out but forgiveness - that's the only path to freedom. I think that in our society nobody wants to hear about your pain and suffering. they want you to get past it already - it's like I'm never supposed to say anything so I stuff all my feelings. This book in many ways gives you permission to feel. That there is another way ..
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ClaireLouise on April 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully written by such credible, wise father and daughter.
I will recommend this to almost everyone I know, because almost everyone
I know is struggling with this issue, whether past or present. People should
understand that to forgive is not to condone. To forgive is not always to
continue the relationship. It is to relieve ourselves of negativity and bitterness
so we can move on with increased serenity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Wilds on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having gone through many crises during the past 2-3 years, this book has been of more substance and guidance to me than any other therapy I have had -- and that has been manyl
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By FJNanic on May 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
VERITAS VOS LIBERABIT!
In the author's own words:
"The truth prevents us from pretending that the things that happened did not happen. How we begin is by first letting the truth be heard in all its rawness, in all its ugliness, and in all its messiness."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho is transforming my understanding of what forgiveness is and is not, and what's required for it to be possible -- and genuine -- rather than a facade, a sign of avoidance, or something that remains locked out of reach. Father and daughter both invite us to understand how much personal and collective work (and courage) is actually involved in activating cycles of healing and transformation, rather than staying locked in cycles of retaliation and transmission of wounds.

Their book is largely based on stories from post-Apartheid South Africa. Some of these stories involve people who were willing to talk about and work through the atrocities and injustices they suffered or perpetrated over decades. They are inspiring and made me wish we had Truth and Reconciliation Commissions everywhere. Not that this process has resolved everything in South Africa... but it has made a big difference, and it offers a different possibility and path to those who are willing to explore how to engage with our world's (and our own) dark side more productively. The book also draws on more personal stories from the authors' lives as well as acquaintances who suffered first- or second-hand physical or sexual violence, and learned how to forgive so they could free themselves from the grip of what they experienced.

One of the Tutus' recurring messages is that there can't be genuine or lasting social healing or forgiveness without first telling and hearing the truth about what happened (or continues to take place) and acknowledging what impact that has had or is having.
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