R.E Coursework

Describe and explain the Christian concept of love and forgiveness with reference to the film “Dead Man Walking”

What do Christians mean by “love”?

Love has many meanings in English. It can mean an intense feeling of affection, an emotion or emotional state. In ordinary use, it usually refers to impersonal love such as the Christian belief that people should be accepted as they are, no matter what their race, religion or colour and that everyone should be equally respected.

Christians believe that love is unconditional in that we cannot just stop loving others, regardless of what they have done. They think that we should give to others less fortunate than ourselves and not give up on the thing or person we love no matter what the circumstances are. The term "love" in English covers many things, including erotic love, love between parent and child, brotherly love, etc. Christian love can be modelled on love between parent and child and brotherly love. We are told to love everyone, particularly enemies. However this does not mean that we will like everyone. Love is not primarily an emotion, although it often involves the emotions, and is supported by them. It is primarily a commitment to care about someone.

What do Christians mean by “forgiveness”?

Forgiveness of sins is one of the key marks of Christianity. Christ died to seal our forgiveness by God and Christians believe that we expected to respond by forgiving each other, and acting as a force for reconciliation in the world. Christians believe we are called on to forgive enemies, both Christian and non-Christian. This forgiveness is intended to benefit both parties. In many cases it may win over the other person, and restore a relationship with them. Christians believe we should bear no grudges and act as if the situation of event never happened.  

Forgiveness has been described as a quality by which one ceases to feel resentment against another for a wrong he or she has committed against oneself. Forgiveness can be granted with or without the other asking for forgiveness. Some people also believe that persons can forgive themselves, that it is possible to forgive groups of people, or that it is possible to be forgiven by God.

What examples or comments about love were in the film?

Join now!

There were many examples of love in the film. Firstly, Helen lived with the coloured ladies who she loved dearly. She was always happy to be around them and treated them as her equal. She still loved them when they were giving her the cold shoulder during the court case with Matt. Helen was seen many times during the film playing with the children, making them laugh and overall making their day brighten. They also loved Helen and at the end of the film this is illustrated clearly when they greet her after Matt’s death. Helen even showed love towards ...

This is a preview of the whole essay