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The Political Dimension of Reconciliation
POD; Published: 4/8/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2824-8
Price: $ 51.50
458 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Examines the nature of reconciliation in both theological and political terms.

When a nation is working through its past, the call for reconciliation is often expressed, as was the case in South Africa after the end of apartheid and in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this book Ralf Wustenberg investigates the conditions and dynamics associated with political reconciliation.

He starts from the observation that reconciliation as a central theme in Christian theological teaching is spoken of in both theology and politics. But does it mean the same thing in both contexts? Is there a commonality of meaning for words like guilt and reconciliation in politics and theology? Where and under what conditions is it possible to translate from theological language into political and vice versa? Wustenberg's study promotes a genuine dialogue between religion and politics by carefully analyzing moral discourses in political transitions to democracy.
David F. Ford , University of Cambridge
"Ralf W?stenberg combines perceptive Christian theology with realistic politics grounded in the South African and German experiences, exploring some of the toughest issues of our time. The result is a rich treatment of guilt and reconciliation in the public sphere with many implications for transformative practice in diverse situations."
Jean Bethke Elshtain , author of Sovereignty: God, State, and Self
"In this provocative work Ralf W?stenberg takes up the transition to democracy in South Africa and East Germany in order to explore the theological dimensions of the political use and misuse of the language of reconciliation and forgiveness. W?stenberg understands that the connections between theology and politics are complex and contested. He counters simplistic advocacy and polemical one-sidedness. The reader encounters many riches in this challenging book."