Source: (2003) In Nigel Biggar, ed., Burying the Past: Making Peace and Doing Justice after Civil Conflict. Expanded and updated. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Pp. 25-43.

Though American culture tends to be future-oriented, without a strong sense of history, it is vital for people in the present to account for past injustice in some way, writes Donald Shriver. This is particularly the case for political entities, such as governments, especially if political powers were the cause of the injustice. Shriver contends that, for victims of past injustice, justice to the past is a form of justice for the present and the future. On this basis, Shriver explores how to “bury the pastâ€? in a just and constructive way rather than an unjust and destructive way. More specifically, he reflects on the pursuit of justice in the context of enacting a certain forgiveness in political relationships. Using examples from actual situations of conflict and injustice, including South Africa, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Rwanda, Shriver discusses the nature of justice, justice and truth-telling, vengeance, forgiveness, and the humanity of the victim and the perpetrator.