Source: (2006) In, Augustine Meier & Martin Rovers. eds.,Through Conflict to Reconciliation.Saint Paul University Research Series. Ottawa: Novalis. pp. 52-62.

Contemporary mediation within our Western context is perceived as something that is new or innovative. The birth of the current model, and the ADR field in general, can be pinpointed to the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was a time when the need for alternatives to the existing judicial mechanisms was increasing due to overload and the realization that the equity of the system was often over-shadowed by procedure and form. What has been lost, however, or has remained on the periphery of most discussions, is that mediation has an ancient divine origin. To discern this ancestry, therefore, as the Midrash story goes, the image of God as present in the mud with us offers a humbling, yet invigorating, reminder that our creative sense does not exist in isolation. Mediation has been and is a metaphor of the potential of our own transformative relationship with one another and in turn with God. (excerpt)