Burying the Past

Burying the Past

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No one can deny how September 11, 2001, has altered our understandings of qPeaceq and qJusticeq and qCivil Conflict.q Those have become words with startling new life in our vocabularies. Yet qmakingq peace and qdoingq justice must remain challenges that are among the highest callings of humanity -- especially in a terror-heightened world. Nigel Biggar, Christian ethicist and editor of this now more than ever qmust readq ( Choice) volume, newly expanded and updated, addresses head-on the concept of a redemptive burying of the past, urging that the events of that infamous date be approached as a transnational model of conflict-and suggesting, wisely and calmly, that justice can be even the better understood if we should undertake the very important task of locating the sources of hostility, valid or not, toward the West. Burying the Past asks these important questions: How do newly democratic nations put to rest the conflicts of the past? Is granting forgiveness a politically viable choice for those in power? Should justice be restorative or retributive? Beginning with a conceptual approach to justice and forgiveness and moving to an examination of reconciliation on the political and on the psychological level, the collection examines the quality of peace as it has been forged in the civil conflicts in Rwanda, South Africa, Chile, Guatemala and Northern Ireland. There are times in history when qmaking peaceq and qdoing justiceq seem almost impossible in the face of horrendous events. Those responses are understandably human. But it is in times just like these when humanity can -- and must -- rise to its possibilities and to its higher purposes in order to continue considering itself just and humane.... often take place outside the full glare of publicity, there are others that are noteworthy for embodying a radical alternative to contrition chic. ... Of course, the Pope did not draw from this act of forgiveness an argument that his attacker be released from prison, for the civil ... engage in what theologian L. Gregory Jones calls the practice or aquot;craftaquot; of forgiveness.3 Pope John Paul was practicing this craft and, anbsp;...

Title:Burying the Past
Author:Nigel Biggar
Publisher:Georgetown University Press - 2003-05-22


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