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Restoring right relations among privileged and poor people: A case study of the Center for New Creation.

Rader, Victoria
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Contemporary Justice Review. 11(2): 131-153.

Privileged people can work for restorative justice in their relations with poor and oppressed
people. They do this by circumventing their class insulation through mutually respectful new
relations with those struggling for their liberation. The author of this article argues for public
spaces where oppressed and privileged people come together in conscious ways, to rebalance
power relations, learn to bridge differences and work together for social justice. Faith-based
organisations, rather than an impediment to democracy, can be a significant site for building
such political solidarity. The case study presented here examines an upper middle-class faith
community in the 1980s, the Center for New Creation, as it developed a culture based on
democratic relations between the powerful and the poor. Its success was rooted in a conscious
‘caring for difference’ and a sense of personal and collective empowerment and responsibility
among its privileged members. Out of this process evolved a new and radical approach to
solidarity, called the ‘theology of accompaniment’. (Author’s abstract).


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