This examination of forgiveness explores the topic in the widest context, but underpinning it is the belief that religion has given us many of the best stories and metaphors for the act. It is a discourse on how forgiveness works and where it came from, and how it can enrich our humanity, whether or not we have religious beliefs. It draws on philosophers and writers such as George Steiner, Frederick Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt and Nelson Mandela.
One of the most outspoken and best-loved figures in the modern church, Richard Holloway recently stood down as the Bishop of Edinburgh. He was Gresham Professor of Divinity in the City of London and remains a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has written for many newspapers in Britain including The Times, the Guardian, the Sunday Herald and the Scotsman and presented his own series on BBC Television. His books include On Forgiveness, Looking in the Distance, Godless Morality and Doubts and Loves. His forthcoming book Between the Monster and the Saint: Reflections on the Human Condition will be published by Canongate in August 2008.