n HTS : Theological Studies - Vergeving in het "Onze Vader" : een bijbels-theologische pastorale benadering

Volume 63, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



The Lord's Prayer has a prominent place in the lives and liturgies of Christian faith communities. The petition for forgiveness in the prayer is accompanied by what seems to be a condition: "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us". This "condition" can be a stumbling block for victims of violence perpetrated by people "who sinned against" them. The aim of the article is to provide a liberating perspective on the Lord's Prayer so that it can contribute to the healing of women who have been sexually violated. Firstly, the concept "forgiveness" in the Old and New Testament is investigated. This leads to an investigation of the ethics of forgiveness in light of Levinas' criticism of the Christian ethics of forgiveness. Narrative insights point to the possibility of reinterpreting the "us" in "forgive us our sins". This liberates "victims" of violence to feel included in God's grace and forgiveness, even though they may find it difficult or impossible to forgive the perpetrator.

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