Source: (2006) University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Indiana

What unfolds in the following pages, then, is a conversation about how theology and politics are related in the theory and practice of reconciliation, situated in the context of transitional states. What place does reconciliation have in the politics of transition? What are the warrants for it? Four theorists, two theologians and two philosophers draw explicitly from theological perspectives in answering these questions. The answers are fresh angles in today’s debate. Our conversation, though, also recognizes that reconciliation’s credibility as an approach to politics depends not only on a theoretical foundation but also on an account of its place in the tug and haul of actual political transition. Two political scientists and a historian, all sympathetic to the theological perspectives, then chart the path of reconciliation, sometimes torturous, sometimes propitious, in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Argentina, and Germany. The divide between the two sorts of inquiry is not neat. The theorists are cognizant of contemporary political transitions; the empirically oriented scholars are theoretically conscious. Explicating theological warrants, mapping the texture of actual political transitions, echoing debates within these transitions, our conversation addresses a wide variety of interlocutors, both scholarly and generalist, both with and without theological commitments. (excerpt)