Let me state at the outset, I recommend the Handbook of Forgiveness, Second Edition to anyone interested in forgiveness studies. And, it belongs on the shelves of university and seminary libraries around the world.
Let me interject my view of the general model contained in the psychology literature. An offender acts in a way that is perceived by a second person, usually called the victim, as offensive. When the offensive act is not easily brushed aside victims may enter a state called unforgiveness. This state may include feelings of anger and sadness, thoughts of revenge, actions to avoid the offender, acts of retaliation, and efforts to seek justice.
My Thoughts on the Handbook of Forgiveness, Second Edition
5. I have wondered about the contribution of Terror Management Theory (TMT) to forgiveness studies. Two studies by Daryl R. Van Tongeren and his team (2013) found that mortality salience (MS) linked to less forgiveness in less committed relationships. Hypothetically, forgiveness may be seen as an anxiety buffer especially for Christians who feel the need to forgive in order to receive God's forgiveness (Matthew 6:15). It would seem MS would elicit increased forgiveness for those who feel close to God. Making things right before death seems like a truism and forgiveness might be a part of that "to do list."TMT is not listed in the index to the handbook and thus may be a fruitful area of new research.
You might also like Chapter 6, Practicing Forgiveness in
Living Well: 10 Big Ideas of Faith and a Meaningful Life on AMAZON