Source: (2004) African Study Monographs. 25(3): 149-165. Downloaded 3 February 2005.

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has been argued as one of the prominent cases by which post-confl ict societies coped with diffi culties. Discussions have tended to criticize its effectiveness and limits. That tendency is more marked when the discussion is on the applicability of that kind of activity to another society. This paper features the particularity of South African society without particular evaluation of the TRC, especially dealing with its religious implication. This standpoint is effective for the analysis of the transitional society which is identifi ed from its relative lack of legitimacy on due process. This paper traces some religious discourses, which have affected the TRC body implicitly and explicitly in historical transition. Two prominent fi gures to whom I give my attention are Desmond Tutu and Charles Villa-Vicencio. However the two Christians’ discourses have incompatibilities with each other to some extent, both still show a tangency which can be interpreted as a unique function in a sheer estrangement of post-Apartheid transitional society. Tutu’s Ubuntu (cultural syncretism) and Villa-Vicencio’s restorative justice through negotiation (political secularism) are considered in this context, and both suggest that they let the ‘divided’ people negotiate over confl icting plurality in a transitional society. Author's abstract.

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