Internet surprise: I’m quoted by a Christian philosopher

By Sheila Orysiek

Sheila Orysiek

Sheila Orysiek

SAN DIEGO–Every once in a while it is interesting to type one’s name into Google and see what comes up.  It almost never fails to be amusing and upon occasion perplexing as well.   On one such recent excursion I came across an item which caught my eye:

Moral Issues and Christian Responses: Eighth Edition | Fortress Press › Books › Theology
Patricia Beattie Jung, ‎Loyle Shannon Jung – 2012 – ‎Religion
… the first step in the process of forgiveness. 10. Sheila Orysiek, “Reflections: Weighing Ourselves on the Moral Scale,” San Diego Jewish World 2, no. 237.”

How did my name come to be included in the description of a book I had never heard of or authors I did not know?

Another search on Google revealed more information on the book.  The author is a Professor of Theology at Loyola University and the book has been used in addition to that university, at Notre Dame and Villanova for the past thirty years.

Well, that surely was interesting but still did not answer how my name came to be in such a book.

Was I perhaps famous beyond all logic or notorious beyond my worst nightmares?

More clicking on the Internet revealed that I am cited as a source (#10)  in the Notes section of Chapter Three – but what am I quoted as saying?   Oy Vey!

Somehow I was able to get “inside” the book beyond the first few pages and then into Chapter Three which was entitled “Forgiveness.”  This chapter contains an article by Donald B. Krayhill, PhD, entitled: “Imitating God, Nickel Mines, Forgiveness and Yoder.”

In his article, Dr. Krayhill discusses the horrific multiple murders of young students at the Nickel Mines Amish school in Pennsylvania in 2006 and the Amish community’s immediate acts of forgiveness toward the family of the deceased perpetrator.  (So far I still can’t see any reason why my name enters into this.)

Dr. Kraybill also discusses the following:

“Does forgiveness mean pardon? Is apology a necessary prerequisite? Does forgiveness bring reconciliation?”
“Alongside the primary victim there typically stands a circle of secondary victims. May or should these secondary victims engage in forgiveness?”
“By demonstrating the courage to move toward forgiveness, the wounded transform themselves from victim to hero of the story.”
“Philosopher Hannah Arendt argues that forgiveness is, “the necessary condition for a society’s ability to survive.”

 All of these questions are engrossing and important for the human community no matter what religion is practiced.  I began reading  Dr. Kraybill’s the entire article in earnest.

And then I see:  “A contemporary Jewish writer explains:  “Should someone come to us and apologize three times, we are religiously obligated to forgive or we take on the sin of not forgiving.” This quote is notated as #10!

I wrote this sentence in an article: “Weighing Ourselves on the Moral Scale” for San Diego Jewish World in 2008. The full paragraph in which it appears is:

“The Rabbi says that should someone come to us and apologize three times, we are religiously obligated to forgive or else we take on the sin of not forgiving.  But he also says we are not obligated to forget – and therefore gain wisdom.  How to achieve the separation between ‘forgetting’ and ‘forgiving’ is the problem.  I have found this ‘forgetting’ very difficult.  Since I can’t completely reorder how I feel about a person who has purposefully injured me, or control how I think about such a person, I have tried to concentrate on how I act toward this person.”

Aha – this explains it!  Am I surprised – yes.  However, I shouldn’t be – there is a Jewish story everywhere.

The entire article at San Diego Jewish World can be read by clicking here.


Orysiek is a freelance writer who specializes in the arts and literature.  She may be contacted via [email protected]. Comments intended for publication in the space below must be accompanied by the letter writer’s first and last name and by his/ her city and state of residence (city and country for those outside the U.S.)



Please help us defray the costs of providing this free service with your non-tax-deductible contribution in any amount

Most recent 100 posts


Follow this blog

Email address