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Pursuing truth, reconciliation, and human dignity in South Africa. Lessons for Catholic Peacebuilding.

Pearson, Peter-John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) In, Robert j. Schreiter, et. al, editors, Peacebuilding: Catholic theology, ethics, and praxis. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books. pp. 190-220.

In what follows I suggest that the use we make of the lessons learned from the TRC constitutes a source of hope for the future. Indeed, the themes that emerged from and ran through the work of the commission serve as a potential foundation for the renewal of the soul of South Africa and the reconstruction of the nation’s political culture and institutions. The hope offered by the TRC, in short, is that a renewed South Africa will affirm democracy, nurture reconciliation, and thus contribute to a culture of peace. Such an outcome would be a fitting homage to the resolute battles of so many against the horrors of apartheid and its roots in colonialism. A close examination of the concerns and processes of the TRC, in fact, holds important clues to peacebuilding in other societies emerging from systemic forms of injustice and descrimination. In this way the experience of the TRC forms part of a learning curve of value not only for South Africa but for a host of countries, not least on the African continent, who are finding their way toward ” a second wave of democracy.” (excerpt)


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