Justice and Mercy: Two Islamic Views on the Nature and Possibility of Divine Forgiveness

In Gregory Bock (ed.), The Philosophy of Forgiveness Volume III: Forgiveness in World Religions. Delaware, USA: Vernon Press. pp. 47-66 (2019)
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This chapter (5) focuses on the concept of the forgiving God in Islamic religion and theology and claims that Islamic thinking about divine forgiveness accommodates two different views that emphasize two different attributes of God: justice and mercy. The first view is associated with a rationalist school of theology known as Mu'tazilism, while the second is associated with a fideistic school known as Ash'arism. The author argues that the first view, which is based on a strict calculus of desert, leaves little or no room for mercy, and that the second view is more true to our ordinary notion of forgiveness.
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