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Forgiveness is Really Strange


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Science-based comic exploring the psychology of the human capacity to forgive and the effects of forgiveness

Table of Contents

Forgiveness is Really Strange.

About the Author

Dr Masi Noor is a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Keele with a special interest in forgiveness as a possible conflict resolution strategy. Together with Marina Cantacuzino, he created The Forgiveness Toolbox ( Masi is based in Keele, UK.Marina Cantacuzino is an award-winning journalist and founder of The Forgiveness Project (, a charitable organisation that uses real personal narratives to explore how ideas around forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution can be used to impact positively on people's lives. She is based in London, UK.Sophie Standing is a London-based illustrator and designer, specialising in human sciences. Her style combines digital and hand-made, with an emphasis on rich colour, textures and metaphorical concepts. She is also the illustrator of Pain is Really Strange and Trauma is Really Strange.


This book on forgiveness won't bully you, but it will make you think. And it might just change your life for ever. I loved it. -- Richard Holloway, author, broadcaster and former Bishop of Edinburgh
I strongly believe in the power of forgiveness to transform lives and this beautiful book opens up the subject in a creative, imaginative and highly original way. -- Francesca Martinez, comedian, writer and activist
If the last thing you would ever want to do is to forgive those who hurt you most, then read this book. -- Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster
Just open the first page of Forgiveness is Really Strange. You will be drawn instantly into all the knotty issues of this vital subject, in a totally magnetic way. How? Because a psychologist from Keele University and the person who pioneered the Forgiveness Project got together with a brilliant graphic artist, so there are very few words. What you get is an unsentimental, evidence-based approach to a subject that can otherwise seem wishy-washy at times. Very complex and challenging ideas are conveyed through amazing life examples and simple, powerful illustrations. Give it to everyone you know, and the world will be happier place. -- Dr Scilla Elworthy, founder of the Oxford Research Group and Peace Direct
Social psychology cannot be closed in the ivory tower. It must be directly related to life of lay people and transferred for them. The book by Masi Noor and Marina Cantacuzino fulfils exactly this need. Forgiveness is an important part of human repertoire and its description and analysis should be brought close to people. The book, through fantastic artistic drawings as well as comprehensive, smart, relevant, and meaningful text, provides a unique example of how to carry this mission. This way brings social psychological knowledge to many thousands of individuals who can think and reflect about human behaviour of forgiveness. -- Daniel Bar-Tal, Professor Emeritus, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Israel and Founder of SISO: Save Israel. Stop the Occupation
Forgiveness is an important topic that raises many issues for the resolution of interpersonal and societal conflicts; it is to the credit of the authors that they engage with these issues in such an approachable way in this admirably succinct volume which will appeal to a wide audience. -- Miles Hewstone, Professor of Social Psychology and Public Policy, University of Oxford
This beautiful graphic book is so important to communicate the F word: forgiveness. Forgiveness is so powerful because it makes our society and ourselves more moral. It can break the cycle of revenge and re-humanize perpetrators of violence, and enable them to change. Forgiveness can enable perpetrators to discover empathy for their victims and can bring about truth and reconciliation. The list of powerful results of forgiveness is long, and for the first time is communicated in an engaging artistic way by one of my favourite charities with Dr Masi Noor. This book will become a moral guide to readers, including young people, on how to make the world a better place. -- Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge and author of Zero Degrees of Empathy
If the killer of my daughter were to ask for my forgiveness, I'd forgive because forgiveness is a kind of revenge. When you forgive, you sleep more peacefully because you have no enemy to hate. You are free. This amazing book shows how to overcome your pain, it deals with humanity's most moral values. Read this book and spread the message to make our world more peaceful. -- Bassam Aramin, Co founder of 'Combatants for Peace' and The Forgiveness Project storyteller
To hurt and hurt others is to be human. How, then, does one recover and make amends? Noor, Cantacuzino, and Standing attempt to unravel this quandary in a charming graphic exploration of wrongdoing, redress, and recovery. Through illustrated testimonials, biographical examples, and excerpts of psychological research, they explore the limits and potential of forgiveness, its application at the individual and societal levels, and its biological effects upon the giver and receiver. Though Noor, Cantacuzino, and Standing endorse forgiveness as healthy and useful, they acknowledge its complicated aspects, such as the threat of insincerity and its potential use as a weapon. Standing's sunny colors embody optimism and anger as nimbly as her rough-edged lines capture frown lines and finely braided hair. The title is part of a series, including Anxiety Is Really Strange and Trauma Is Really Strange, which uses simple illustrations to unpack inherently complex concepts. This meditative ode on grace has lasting resonance, and it's packaged in a beautiful, small-format volume that feels like a gift. -- Publishers Weekly

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