Love Your Enemies: Retribution and Forgiveness

Jan 14, 2016
University of Chicago
5801 S Ellis Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
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Regina M. Schwartz (Northwestern University)

cosponsored by the Department of English

The law presumes not only the right but the duty to punish: it does not ask whether it should punish, but how much, who, when, and how. In contrast, Christianity offers a different response to wrongdoing: Jesus engaged in a polemical attack on “the reciprocity code,” the assumption that good should be reciprocated with good and evil with evil. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28). How are we to begin to comprehend this radical difference?