Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A15. Truth, Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Can there be reconciliation between the victim of repression and the oppressor? Can one learn to forgive the other once the repression has ended? This course will examine the history of repression, the function of memory, and the desire for reconciliation across the globe. Slavery, genocide, the Holocaust, and South African Apartheid will serve as examples to investigate how groups can or cannot move beyond their oppression and hatred of the other toward building a stronger community, nation, and world. In addition to studying the devastation, the humiliation, the brutal torture, and the mass murder of others, we will examine if confession alone is enough to bridge the divide between oppressor and victim, or if some recompense is necessary to heal the wounds of genocide, slavery, racism, and colonialism. This course will examine the concept of forgiveness from a number of differing angles to determine its efficacy as a method of bridging the divide of national and personal conflicts.

Dolita CathcartDolita Cathcart
Associate Professor of History