Who is in your family tree? When I first read the word “genealogy” in the context of philosophy it took me a bit to overcome my default understanding of the term. Nuanced rightly, genealogy simply invites the reader to look up the line be it a family tree or a developing philosophy. When I read Luke 15:5-10 for this week’s Revised Common Lectionary passage I wonder about the genealogy of forgiveness as I include 15:1-4.
More than two years after my first real reading pf Derrida, I still reflect on his contention there is no forgiveness if there is an unforgivable. In other words, if there is something we will not forgive then there is no forgiveness for anything. We, Christians, generally retreat to the initiation of forgiveness in the “repentance” of the offending party. That is, we often consider forgiveness only after we look for its stipulated ground – repentance. I often wonder if this is not a means to divert our attention away from just how difficult it is for us to be formed to forgive. If I can turn the gaze to the offender, then I need not consider the act of forgiveness until my offender makes the “first move.”