"In The Genealogy of Morals Friedrich Nietzsche advocated a version of 'as-if-not' attitude toward transgression .... an attitude toward transgression untouched by concerns for justice as desert. He writes:
Such sovereign disregard for injuries from others demands extraordinary strength, almost that of an übermensch [superman].... [However], his example of the 'virtuous' [man] could not forgive because he had forgotten!... Nietzsche had little positive to say about [forgiveness] and tended to replace it with 'forgetting.'"
To my mind this seems largely inadequate for another reason, which is that it expects superhuman strength precisely from the one who has been victimized. Add it up and Nietzsche's sort of forgiveness is more like an argument for the politics of disregard, supporting the sequestering of power by those who are able to transcend their situation and carry on in the repression of others undaunted. In other words, it is the stuff of violence, and not of grace. We should watch that our Christian accounts of forgiveness do not take this form.
- See Miroslav Volf, "Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Justice,"
in Forgiveness and Reconciliation (Templeton, 2001), p. 36-38, and
Nietzche, On the Geneology of Morals (Cambridge, 1994), p. 23-24