Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


Most Armenians believe that Armenian’s ability to heal their painful past is totally dependent upon Turkey’s acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians were massacred under Ottoman Turkish rule from 1915-1923. This study poses the question whether Armenians can be empowered to take charge of their own healing process by embarking upon a personal forgiveness journey, so that future generations may live free of the burden of hatred and violence that so frequently gets passed down. By interviewing peacebuilders who are survivors of mass violence and who have been on a personal forgiveness journey, and by conducting a focus group with survivors of extreme abuse, this study reveals that the forgiveness journey is a personal process that can be used as a tool for self healing and empowerment, as well as a seed for peace. This study’s findings confirm the vital role that acknowledgment plays in the survivor’s ability to heal and to forgive; and shows that when survivors receive validation other places, this can have a profoundly healing effect as well. Future research on this topic could include studying the impact that forgiveness has on the perpetrator and on their relationship with the survivor.


Peace and Conflict Studies


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