Fortress Press

Reconciliation: Restoring Justice


Restoring Justice

John W. de Gruchy (Author)


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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.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800636005
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 272
  • Publication Date December 20, 2002


"Drawing deeply on the rich resources of Christian faith and tradition, de Gruchy has provided a passionate yet carefully reasoned account of the connection between God's gift of reconciliation in Christ and political struggles for justice and peace. Using the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa as his case study, de Gruchy cautions against cheap alternatives to reconciliation as he explores the costly proecess of truth-telling, foregiveness, moral accountability, and the restoration of justice at the interface of faith and politics. I warmly commend this timely book."
– Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Table of Contents


    Part One: Discourse

  1. How Dare We Speak of Reconciliation?

    Holy Grail or secular pact?
    Clarifying the Genre
    Reconciliatoin: constructed and contest
    Reconciliation as national project

  2. Reconciliation in Christian Tradition

    The 'grand narrative' of redemption
    The Pauline trajectory of reconciliation
    Constructing the doctrine
    A public theology of reconciliation

    Part Two: Agency

  3. Reconciliation Embodied

    Treasure in clay jars
    Sociality, solidarity and vicarious action
    Sacraments of reconciliation
    Vicarious confession of guilt

  4. Reconciliation and the Household of Abraham

    Alienating memories and present realities
    The household of Abraham and national reconciliation
    Dialogue, commonality and difference
    Conviction, pluralism and covenantal obligations

    Part Three: Process and Goal

  5. The Art of Reconciliation

    Creating space for interfacing
    Telling the truth
    Listen to the sound of fury
    Forgiveness as wisdom and power

  6. Covenanting together to Restore Justice

    Beyond the social contract
    Acknowledging guilt
    Reconnecting love, power and justice
    A new covenant forged in hope

    Select Bibliography