Keele psychologist launches new book on forgiveness

Dr Masi Noor, a Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University, launched his new book Forgiveness is Really Strange in London today.

The publication is a comic based on science and real-life stories, illustrating the complexity of forgiveness and what it can mean to different people as well as its potential for positive change. It explores the key aspects of forgiveness and the impact that it can have on the mind and psyche.

Forgiveness is Really Strange is co-authored by Dr Noor and award-winning journalist Marina Cantacuzino. Together they look at what enables people to forgive and why people choose to forgive those who have harmed them. Dr Noor explores the latest psychological research and what it tells us about the nature of forgiveness, its benefits and risks.

The witty comic, designed by artist Sophie Standing, answers questions about the health benefits and restorative potential of forgiveness and explains what happens in our brains, bodies and communities when we choose to forgive.

Dr Noor explains: “While much has been moralised and spiritualised about forgiveness elsewhere, our readers can expect a sober and unsentimental approach to forgiveness in this book. What makes this book unique is that it explores the slippery concept of forgiveness through scientific research as well as through simple but powerful insights gained from real-life stories of individuals to whom forgiveness did not always come naturally, as an instinctive response to their hurts and losses.

“Forgiveness is multi-dimensional, and it was important to me to utilise this book to draw attention not just to the health and well-being benefits associated with forgiveness but also to the contexts in which forgiveness may not be a welcomed response. In fact, sometimes forgiveness may even backfire. For instance, when you offer someone forgiveness who does not think they have harmed you in the first place.

“What also motivated me and my co-author to create this book was to make this sensitive and serious topic more accessible to a wide range of readers, including the youth audience, with the intention to reach the most unlikely readers who may benefit the most from reading it.”

Forgiveness is Really Strange, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, is out now and available online including Amazon. For more information on Dr Noor's and Ms Cantacuzino's work on forgiveness visit their website The Forgiveness Toolbox.

“The list of powerful results of forgiveness is long, and for the first time is communicated in an engaging artistic way by one of my favourite charities with Dr Masi Noor. This book will become a moral guide to readers, including young people, on how to make the world a better place.”
- Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge and author of Zero Degrees of Empathy.