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Book Review: As We Forgive

August 17, 2009

Although Larson doesn’t flinch in her descriptions of the horrors of
the genocide, her book is positive and surprisingly practical.  Most
people, when faced with stories of genocide, tend to back away, ashamed
of their own meager struggles and certain that such extreme suffering
can have no bearing on their lives. Larson instead tries to learn from
the suffering she describes:

“If Rwandans can find the courage to forgive, then
perhaps there is hope for us in those problems that seem to pale in
comparison…If forgiveness is possible after genocide, then perhaps
there is hope for the comparably smaller rifts that plague our
relationships, our communities, and our nation.” (p. 19)

The restoration work being done in Rwanda relies on a philosophy of
reconciliation with which many will be unfamiliar, and which would help
offset a number of the disadvantages of our current justice system here
in the US.  Peace, explains Larson, is a much deeper concept than the
ubiquitous graphic might imply.  While we usually use the word to refer
to an absence of conflict, the term originally meant something much
more holistic.

Read the whole review.

Larson’s book was inspired by a documentary of the same name produced by Lauren Waters Hingson.


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