This collection of essays by scholars of diverse backgrounds explores the tion of repentance in our culture, focusing on individuals who have been excluded from society as a result of violating its laws. What must these individuals do to gain redemption and be readmitted? Amitai Etzioni argues that the lack of a well-grounded concept of civic repentance has significant negative social consequences for our society. Denying people the opportunity to regain their social standing and membership in their communities is simply unfair, and the absence of such opportunities for restoration through repentance exacts heavy social costs. The essays in this collection address these issues from a variety of perspectives and discuss possible ways of filling this void, including restorative justice, physician rehabilitation programs, and religious reconciliation rituals.
Amitai Etzioni is the founder and first president of the Communitarian Network and university professor of George Washington University. Among his many books areThe New Golden Rule, The Spirit of Community, and The Moral Dimension.