Source: (2010) Journal of Ecumenical Studies. 45(2):201-217.

As a key paradigm for understanding and practicing mission, the theme of reconciliation has been emerging with greater prominence over the past couple of decades. (14) Reconciliation, in this sense, means an extension of the renewed relationship between God and humanity to the conflicts and problems of human society. (15) It is a matter of the reconciliation wrought through the grace of Jesus Christ that flows into the world's situations of violence and pain, making possible new relationships and humanizing structures. William R. Burrows reminds us that reconciliation is actually an ancient paradigm for mission that is receiving much-needed renewal today since it improves significantly upon the de facto images of "conversion" and "expansion" that characterized most mission efforts during the past five centuries--centuries that overlap, significantly, with the age of conquest, colonization, and varied forms of imperialism. (16) As a form of Christian witness, cultivating reconciliation in the world is a way in which the church points back to the pivotal act of reconciliation through Christ's cross and resurrection, as well as pointing forward to and preparing for the cosmic reconciliation that God has promised in Jesus Christ. (17) (excerpt)