Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Justice Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Nick Smith


Forgiveness is an intricate part of our everyday moral interactions, although it is fundamentally a difficult concept. Unforgivable crimes are inexcusable, and equally as difficult a concept, because the unforgivable often references collective crimes. This paper will provide an analysis of forgiveness, the unforgivable, and how both relate to collectives by distinguishing the crimes from their perpetrators. At a fundamental level, individual forgiveness can be expanded to allow for collective forgiveness, despite the inherent difficulties of such collective forgiveness. Similarly, unforgivable crimes can be expanded to accommodate collective injuries. To accommodate for the unforgivable, I distinguished an unforgivable act from an unforgivable offender, and these ideas of unforgivability can also be expanded to collectives, and indeed such collective injuries are most often cited as examples of the unforgivable.