Enright receives grant for forgiveness education study

Robert Enright, Aristotelian Professorship in Forgiveness Science, and Jiahe Wang Xu, graduate student in the Human Development Area, received a three-year, $1.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to introduce forgiveness education to fifth grade teachers and students in three world areas known for social unrest: Hong Kong, Israel/Palestine, and Northern Ireland. “Forgiveness education is not political,” Enright notes, “but instead is intended to assist students in adding the moral virtue of forgiveness when they are in conflict with other students in school or with family members within the home.” Bob Enright Portrait-His prior studies have demonstrated that forgiveness—or being good to those who are not good to you—decreases pent-up anger and concomitant anxiety and even depression; forgiveness increases the positive psychology themes of self-esteem and hope for the future.  As one school superintendent in the West Bank of the Middle East related to Dr. Enright: “The deep resentments in our area are destroying individuals, families, and communities.” Enright and Wang Xu hope that this research can strengthen students’ understanding and practice of forgiveness within their own communities, so that, as adults, they will be able to mobilize this moral virtue, along with justice, in forging a better peace than has been known in these regions, and in some cases, for centuries.

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