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Brokenness, forgiveness, healing, and peace in Ireland

Smyth, Geraldine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Forgiveness and reconciliation: Religion, public policy, & conflict transformation, ed. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., and Rodney L. Petersen, 319-349. With a foreword by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

Writing in the context of Northern Ireland, Smyth considers conditions and processes that can foster reconciliation and peace-building in situations of longstanding ethnic, political, and religious conflict. Her analysis includes theological, socio-political, and personal reflections on the trauma of conflict, as well as the possibilities for ending conflict and rebuilding lives, relationships, and communities. She writes of the need to become aware of the brokenness, division and separation characterizing the civic and Christian realities of Ireland; of the pain and the hope in letting go of wounds, grief, and anger in moving toward forgiveness; of life after violence through rebuilding the fabric of communities and through living in reconciled relationships with others; and of looking to the future through the way of Jesus as abundant life and grace.


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