by John W. De Gruchy
Whether born in the Mideast, Africa, Asia, or brought home to the streets of America, violent hatreds often threaten to swamp the minimal cooperation needed to foster life and health. Does Christianity have anything besides warmed-over pieties to offer a world torn by estrangement, alienation, and violently opposed worldviews?
In this signal contribution to public theology, John de Gruchy, an internationally esteemed political theologian, emphatically affirms the possibility and necessity of reconciliation. For Christians, he says, reconciliation is the center and perennial test of their faith. De Gruchy expands reconciliation's relevance beyond personal piety and ecclesial harmony to encompass group relations, politics, and even the environment. In all cases, he argues, it involves the restoration of justice. Forged in the recent experience of South Africa, his work delineates the political and ecclesial significance of reconciliation and shows its importance for interreligious relations, addressing victimization, and international peace. Reconciliation will be welcomed by all whose faith leads them to help alleviate the world's mounting agonies.