• An Examination of the Influence of Religion on the Forgiveness Process

      Johnson, Gregory J. (2011-09-20)
      This study sought to examine the religion-forgiveness hypothesis in the context of the forgiveness process in an attempt to better understand the basis of the relationship. Data was collected from 140 participants in an online survey that contained measures of religious behaviors, religious beliefs, religious fundamentalism, empathy, emotional intelligence, forgiveness, and social desirability. A hypothesized model specified that religious variables of religious belief, behavioral religiosity, religious fundamentalism would be predictive of forgiveness when mediated by emotional intelligence and fully mediated by empathy. Using structural equation modeling, it was found that religiosity was predictive of greater levels forgiveness when mediated by empathy; however, religious fundamentalism was found predict lower empathy and lower levels of forgiveness. Examination of alternative models indicated that religiosity did not predict forgiveness unless mediated by empathy and although social desirability was predictive of empathy, its influence on the religiosity-empathy relationship was minimal. Implications and limitations are discussed.