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“The role of identity reconstruction in promoting reconciliation.”

Hicks, Donna
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Forgiveness and reconciliation: Religion, public policy, & conflict transformation, ed. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., and Rodney L. Petersen, 129-149. With a foreword by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

Threats to identity may block the resolution of ethnic conflict even when other issues appear resolvable. Hicks explores this reality and seeks ways to deal with it so that disputants can move toward conflict-resolution and reconciliation; she refers to Herbert Kelman’s description of this process of reconstruction as “negotiating identity.â€? Hicks roots identity negotiation in a Piagetian model of social-cognitive development. In this context, her discussion involves a description of the conditions and circumstances for constructive learning about the self and others, with comparison to identity formation under circumstances of conflict. This leads to analysis of specific aspects of identity that can be negotiated in situations of conflict, exploration of the implications for processes that may promote successful reconciliation, and comments about the limits and strengths of forgiveness in promoting reconciliation.


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