In this anecdotal study of public apology, Edwin Battistella shows that our anxieties and confusions about confession are rooted in a deeper ambiguity: the tension between the culpable self and the apologetic self.
Mixed reactions to Yom Kippur prayer asking forgiveness
Jan 26, 2010
Criticized in the past for remarks that upset many in America’s Jewish community, former President Jimmy Carter has apologized for any of his words or actions that might have served to stigmatize Israel.
Continuing its efforts to address a practice some members call “a stain on the church,” the Episcopal Church will hold a “Day of Repentance” to publicly apologize for its involvement in the slave trade.
The ceremony, mandated by a 2006 resolution at the church’s General Convention, will take place October 3-4 in Philadelphia.
Leaders of the U.S. denominations belonging to the World Council of Churches created a small buzz at Porto Alegre by delivering a letter to the Ninth Assembly in which they confessed the complicity of the U.S. churches in actions and policies that are detrimental to the well-being of the world.
German and Austrian leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have issued a statement of apology for any support of or role in Nazi activities during World War II. In their declaration, the church bodies “honestly confess” to a failure “in following our Lord” by not protecting Jews and others during the Holocaust, reported Adventist News Network.
What gives a human being the capacity to attend to the truth, and to grow in that capacity?” My friend’s question hung in the air, dangling over the center of the table as those of us in the room found ourselves strangely silent.
The Western world lost much when the confession-absolution dyad dropped God out of the equation. Vanished is the power of the purifying rhetoric that once gave voice to sinners in classic words and acts of contrition and confession.