Forgiveness as Catharsis...Balance...Safety

Bill Breeden, Unitarian Universalist Church
Hal Pepinsky, Indiana University
Bill Selke, Indiana University, Bloomington

We are three criminologists who have known each other professionally and personally for at least 15 years. Bill Breeden is a Unitarian Universalist minister, half-time in local churches, half-time in statewide prison ministry in Indiana, in the conservative political heartland of the United States. He has been in jail, in solitary confinement. He is the only person to do jail time for Iran-Contra (see the latest edition of Zinn's A People's History of the United States). Among other things, he was for two years in the early nineties a graduate student in criminal justice, an associate instructor and in fact co-lecturer in Hal's "alternative social control systems" class. Both Bills are Indiana natives. hal arrived in Bloomington in 1976. Bill Selke joined the IU criminal justice faculty in 1979. Bill Breeden has been in the Bloomington areaq longest.

We three have been brought back together by news of Bill Selke's terminal cancer. He has asked his two co-authors to join a conversation of how we all have learned to let go of being driven by fear, and to celbrate and gain from the forgiveness of our political and professional foes. Forgiveness has become paramount in his thinking. In this essay we show how our criminological understanding of what safety and compassion demand has evolved in our lies together in local and global action, and in scholarly findings.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006