Resources for Reconciliation
The fruit of a partnership between the Center for Reconciliation and InterVarsity Press, the Resources for Reconciliation series applies rigorous theological thought and methods of practical action to discover real solutions for reconciliation in areas of deep division on local and global levels.
In keeping with the Center's mission to marry the study of theology with grass-roots issues, each book is authored by two prominent voices—one in the field, the other from the academy.
Forgiving As We’ve Been Forgiven
Forgiving As We’ve Been Forgiven
Christians are supposed to forgive others as we've been forgiven. But hearing the call to forgive is different from knowing how to practice forgiveness at home and in the world. Forgiveness is about more than the isolated acts and words of individuals. To forgive and be forgiven, we need communal practices and disciplines for a way of life that makes for peace.
Greg Jones and Célestin Musekura describe how churches and communities can cultivate the habits that make forgiveness possible on a daily basis. Following the Rwandan genocide, Musekura lost his father and other family members to revenge killings. But then he heard God tell him to forgive the killers. The healing power of forgiveness in his own life inspired him to work for forgiveness and reconciliation across Africa.
Jones, author of Embodying Forgiveness, interacts with Musekura's story to show how people can practice forgiveness not only in dramatic situations like genocide but also in everyday circumstances of marriage, family and congregational life. Together they demonstrate that forgiving and being forgiven are mutually reciprocating practices that lead to transformation and healing.
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Friendship at the Margins
Friendship at the Margins
In our anonymous and dehumanized world, the simple practice of friendship is radically countercultural. But sometimes Christians inadvertently marginalize and objectify the very ones they most want to serve.
Chris Heuertz, international director of Word Made Flesh, and theologian and ethicist Christine Pohl show how friendship is a Christian vocation that can bring reconciliation and healing to our broken world. They contend that unlikely friendships are at the center of an alternative paradigm for mission, where people are not objectified as potential converts but encountered in a relationship of mutuality and reciprocity.
When we befriend those on the margins of society by practicing hospitality and welcome, we create communities where righteousness and justice can be lived out. Heuertz and Pohl's reflections offer fresh insight into Christian mission and what it means to be the church in the world today.
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Welcoming Justice: God’s Movement Toward Beloved Community
It was not long ago that African Americans and other minorities were excluded from many spheres of American public life. We have seen remarkable progress in recent decades toward Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of beloved community. But this is not only because of the activism and sacrifice of a certain generation of civil rights leaders. It happened because God was on the move.
In Welcoming Justice, historian and theologian Charles Marsh partners with veteran activist John Perkins to chronicle God's vision for more equitable and just world. They show how the civil rights movement was one important episode in God's larger movement throughout human history of pursuing justice and beloved community. Perkins reflects on his long ministry and identifies key themes and lessons he has learned, and Marsh highlights the legacy of Perkins's work in American society. Together they show how abandoned places are being restored, divisions are being reconciled, and what individuals and communities are now doing to welcome peace and justice.
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Reconciling All Things
Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing
Our world is broken and cries out for reconciliation.
But mere conflict resolution and peacemaking are not enough. What makes real reconciliation possible? How is it that some people are able to forgive the most horrendous of evils? And what role does God play in these stories? Does reconciliation make any sense apart from the biblical story of redemption?
Secular models of peacemaking are insufficient, and the church has not always fulfilled its call to be agents of reconciliation in the world. In Reconciling All Things Center for Reconciliation co-directors Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice cast a comprehensive vision for reconciliation that is biblical, transformative, holistic and global. They draw on the resources of the Christian story, including their own individual experiences in Uganda and Mississippi, to bring solid theological reflection to bear on the work of reconciling individuals, groups and societies. They recover distinctively Christian practices that will help the church be both a sign and an agent of God's reconciling love in the fragmented world of the twenty-first century.
This powerful, concise book lays the philosophical foundations for the Resources for Reconciliation, a new series from InterVarsity Press and the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School which explores what it means to pursue hope in areas of brokenness in theory and practice.
Read the first chapter of Reconciling All Things (pdf)
Reconciling All Things Wins Christianity Today Award!
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Living Gently in a Violent World
Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness
How are Christians to live in a violent and wounded world? Rather than contending for privilege by wielding power and authority, we can witness prophetically from a position of weakness. The church has much to learn from an often overlooked community--those with disabilities.
In this fascinating book, theologian Stanley Hauerwas collaborates with Jean Vanier, founder of the worldwide L'Arche communities. For many years, Hauerwas has reflected on the lives of people with disability, the political significance of community, and how the experience of disability addresses the weaknesses and failures of liberal society. L'Arche provides a unique model of inclusive community that is underpinned by a deep spirituality and theology. Together, Vanier and Hauerwas carefully explore the contours of a countercultural community that embodies a different way of being and witnesses to a new order--one marked by radical forms of gentleness, peacemaking and faithfulness.
The authors' explorations shed light on what it means to be human and how we are to live. The robust voice of Hauerwas and the gentle words of Vanier offer a synergy of ideas that, if listened to carefully, will lead the church to a fresh practice of peace, love and friendship.
This invigorating conversation is for everyday Christians who desire to live faithfully in a world that is violent and broken.
Read the first chapter of Living Gently in a Violent World (pdf)
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Living without Enemies
Living Without Enemies
When violence tears apart a community, pain and fear immobilize neighbors. People may want to move forward, but envisioning how is the more complicated task. The only way ahead is forged through forgiveness. Reconciliation has the power to transform entire neighborhoods and to end senseless violence. The burden of proof is revealed through enemies who become friends through the power of Christ’s love.
In Living Without Enemies: Being Present in the Midst of Violence, theologian Samuel Wells and community activist Marcia Owen narrate one community’s journey of transforming exiled enemies into authentic friends. After gun violence threatens to destroy a North Carolina neighborhood, a religious coalition that Owen leads begins holding prayer vigils. Being present with both victims and offenders leads to transformation and urges community members to love in radical ways. Together, Owen and Wells navigate the fragile yet explosive boundaries of reconciliation that can give way to new, holy ground in communities across the country that have been devastated by violence.
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Making Peace with the Land
Making Peace with the Land
Development and industrialization increasingly wreaks havoc on God’s created world. Crops are injected with unnatural agents to make them grow more quickly. Americans rely on processed foods for their daily nourishment. The food that was supposed to sustain the human body only degrades it. As the land is marred, so too is the body. The good news is that God has a plan for reconciliation — but that plan requires Christians to return to their duty as participants in the created order.
In Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation, agriculturalist Fred Bahnson and theologian Norman Wirzba explore the God-ordained relationship between the land and human beings. As part of the created order, both nature and humans experience an interdependence that is necessary to thrive. Christians can strengthen this relationship by participating in local food production — from farming to gardening — and delighting in the feasts they eat together in community. With hands deep in the soil, Christians ensure peace and reconciliation do not remain fallow for years to come.
Purchase Making Peace with the Land: http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=3457