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What exactly is forgiveness? Let us try to think this through, first of all by considering what the word itself suggests. It is, in fact, two words joined together: the word fore and the word give. In this way for-­giveness resembles words like foresight and foreknowing. Now foresight is seeing something before...

  This sculpture, from the fourth century, depicts Christ as a teacher, seated and wearing the pallium that is the distinctive garb of the philosopher. Christ holds the scroll that contains his teaching in his left hand while gesturing (as teachers do) with his right. Now in the Pio-Christian Museum in the Vatican, this...