ABSTRACT

As humankind enters a new millennium, “we bid farewell to the bloodiest century in

human history” (McCullough, Pargament, & Thoresen, 2000, p. xiii). Indeed, public calls

for forgiveness and reconciliation have grown louder in recent years, embedded in highly

publicized conflict resolution efforts, such as restitution for slavery in the United States,

recovery from a racist government in South Africa, and resolution of religious and

political conflict in Northern Ireland. Scholars of communication have responded by

examining the role of public discourse in framing and apologizing for past injustices

(Augoustinos, Lecouter, & Soyland, 2002) and exploring the rhetorical dimensions of

reconciliation (Doxtader, 2003).