When Mercy Seasons Justice
This epilogue looks at the modern bureaucratic state. It considers what it means for a state's regulatory scheme to be comprised of such a range of free-roaming and diverse actors who operate in a semi-autonomous social field and participate in shaping and regulating its operations. Consequently, the epilogue reflects on what forgiveness work means for rights, law, and the higher aims of the Qur'anic mandate of mercy. Mercy means a lessening of deserved punishment (leniency) and, at the same time, mercy's very presence suggests injustice lies everywhere. That is, where there is mercy, there is injustice. However, mercy can play a crucial role in bringing about justice. The insistence on mercy, even if it is a power from above, can offer a crucial corrective to injustice. In some ways, this feature of the legal system explains the involvement of government agents in forgiveness work and suggests the basis for the state's differential treatment of anti-death penalty or human right activists versus forgiveness workers.
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