Source: (2005) Asia Journal of Theology. 19(2): 412-430.
I have spent the years since 1989 partly in Africa, where the end of
apartheid in South Africa and the advent of multi-party democracy in many
formerly one-party states raise major issues of reconciliation at both personal
and communal levels, and partly in Europe where the West’s polarisation with
the Arab world has unleashed division and conflict to which no lasting solution
has yet been found. Both the African and the European contexts have moved
the issue of reconciliation ever higher on my contextual theological agenda.
Since 1998 my work has involved a growing familiarity with the Asian context
also, with visits to different parts of Asia and many opportunities to talk with
Asian church leaders.” August 2004 brought a first opportunity to engage in
depth with Asian communities specifically on the issue of reconciliation.
Through the partnership of the Church of Christ in Thailand and the Church
of Scotland, I was invited to give a series of seminars under the title ‘The
Church as the Servant of Society: Contributing to National Reconciliation” from
7 to 23 August 2004.’^ Delegates to the seminars came from throughout the
Mekong Sub-Region: Burman/Myanmar, Thailand, south China, Laos and
Cambodia. This article attempts to summarise the perspectives which I
brought from experience elsewhere and ways in which these were challenged,
adjusted and developed through the interaction in the seminars. (excerpt)
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