Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism

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 by Allan Aubrey Boesak and Curtis Paul DeYoung

Everyone supports the idea of "reconciliation," but too often calls for reconciliation fall short of uprooting systems of injustice, and thus fail to accomplish the work required to truly reconcile peoples and nations. Such initiatives usually favor the rich and powerful while depriving the powerless of justice and dignity. The result, according to Boesak and DeYoung, is "political pietism." And when Christians refuse to name this situation for what it is, they are practicing "Christian quietism."

True reconciliation, these authors argue, must be truly radical. Together they offer a vision of reconciliation and social justice grounded in the biblical story and their own experiences of social engagement. After examining the meaning of reconciliation in the biblical context, they examine Jesus role as a radical reconciler and prophet of social justice. They go on to examine the role of reconciliation in religious communities and in the wider society, including the challenging model of Bishop Desmond Tutu and his contributions to the Truth and Reconciliation commission in post-apartheid South Africa.