- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 25, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470907738
- ISBN-13: 978-0470907733
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Forgiveness: Reflections on Atonement 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Beyond Forgiveness shows how acts of atonement—making amends, providing restitution, restoring balance—can relieve us of the pain of the past and give us a hopeful future. The book contains fifteen thoughtful contributions from high-profile thinkers and activists including, among others, Huston Smith, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Jacob Needleman, Arun Gandhi, Diane Hennacy Powell, Azim Noordin Khamisa, Rabbi Michael Lerner, James O'Dea, Reverend Heng Sure, Kate Dahlstedt, and Edward Tick.
"If we harbor thoughts of violence or hatred, or seek revenge or retribution, we are contributing to the wounding of the world; if we transform those thoughts into forgiveness and compassion, and then make amends or restitution, we are contributing to the healing of the world. This timely, powerful, and compassionate book helps show us the way."
—Deepak Chopra, author of The Book of Secrets and The Path to Love
"Nothing will help us survive the present age more than breaking the tragic cycles of violence and revenge. To do so, we must honor our soul's desire for deeper forms of reconciliation, a process that Phil Cousineau reveals here as the ritual act of atonement. His book is a profoundly important contribution to the healing of the world. I give it my blessing."
—Robert A. Johnson, author of Transformation, Inner Work, and Owning Your Own Shadow
"Beyond Forgiveness: Reflections on Atonement is an inspiring, practical, and compelling book, relevant for our times. Cousineau provides a profound and provocative book that has us ponder where we might need to forgive ourselves and others and to look at atonement and what it ignites in the human spirit."
—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., author of The Second Half of Life
About the Author
Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, editor and lecturer, cultural observer and TV host. He has published twenty-six nonfiction books, written fifteen documentary films, and is currently the host and co-writer of Global Spirit on Link TV. Learn more at www.beyondforgiveness.org.
Top customer reviews
Atonement is something many of us have come to associate only with religion, and that is a shame. I thought the same thing until I read the book, which opened up a new door of understanding for me. This is a collection of essays written by authors from different religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, authors of mixed race and gender and experience. Each one has a different story of atonement to tell, and by reading through all the essays together, I was able to see the value of atonement as a universally-healing act.
It is difficult for me to explain the impact that this book had on me, because its effects are subtle and profound, and still making themselves known. As I read through the book I saw myself in all the essays. In some of the essays I saw my political self, and in others, my family self, my student self, my intimate relationship self. The essays reveal different faces of atonement, and suggest how it can be used to heal our selves, our relationships with others, and even our broken socio-cultural structures. Beyond Forgiveness is not marketed as a self-help book; it is not an academic book; and it is not a mere set of stories. It is a philosophical work and at the same time a practical guide. To help with the practical piece, for those who want it there is a study guide that goes with the book (on the companion website, [...]).
This is not a heavy book, though the theme can be serious. Phil Cousineau has done a wonderful job making the theme of atonement easy to swallow and easy to love. It is an easy read, lively, varied, positive, and suggestive of movement, growth and transformation. It is a book for this moment in time, one that can help people all over learn to heal our broken society and families, etc., to understand why we feel so bad about things we (and others) have done, and what we can do to forgive, atone, and stop feeling bad! I highly recommend the book, for the lay reader, as well as for veterans, prisoners, clergy, addicts, educators, lawyers...you get the picture. As I said, it is a quick read and well worth the time!
This book takes a multicultural and wide approach to the innate power that can overcome this seeming tidal wave of anger and rejection: the power inlaid within forgiveness, inlaid within going to the root cause and core of wounding and the wound. The chapters are a rich array of traditions, beliefs, world-views, practices that will deepen and expand the reader's ability to apply forgiveness and healing in their own lives and beyond. By doing that which we may fear most--going into the heart and core of the wound--we find the path back to wholeness and healing. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu so aptly states--for healing to occur, one must gently open the wound, tell the story, tell the truth, share the pain of that wound. Then and only then can the healing begin and balm applied.
I consider "Beyond Forgiveness" to be one of the most important books of our time, as it addresses one of--if not the most--core reasons that we as a humanity are perched at the edge of deepening crises--or--possible opportunities to evolve to the higher reaches of our collective heart and soul.
Thanks to Azim Khamisa, Phil Cousineau and all the contributors. I happen to work with the author of the closing essay, "Creative Atonement in a Time of Peril", James O'Dea ([...]), and am also grateful to him for his steadfast presence in the world as a two-legged beacon of service to peace and the healing of our global heart.
The different perspectives on atonement which are compiled in this extraordinary book are inspiring and enlightening. As one of the contributing authors Katharine Dever explains, "It is only the action, restitution, or required gesture that fully rights a wrong." We have all faced injustices in our lives at one time or another and we have all made mistakes. This book challenges us to look more closely at our own actions and see the interconnectedness of all life. Whether it be at the individual level or at a group level, it is through atonement that wrongs can be healed and peace created.
Like all of Phil Cousineau's books, this is a thought provoking book on a very relevant topic for our times. I highly recommend it!