Cover image for Facing the truth : South African faith communities and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission
Facing the truth : South African faith communities and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission
Cochrane, James R.
Publication Information:
Athens : Ohio University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
238 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


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BL2470.S6 F35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The unique desire of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to turn its back on revenge and to create a space where deeper processes of "forgiveness, confession, repentance, reparation, and reconciliation can take place" reflects the spirit of some churches and faith communities in South Africa. Facing the Truth: South African Faith Communities and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, published in North America by Ohio University Press on November 1, 1999, is a candid study of the historical notes that formed that difficult process, which continues to be a struggle of theological and philosophical importance within faith communities.

This book contains extracts of faith communities' testimonies before the TRC, and individual writers in Facing the Truth bring their unique voices to bear on the complex matter of healing wounds. The writers tell powerful stories, such as of meeting former torturers face-to-face: "He asked me to forgive him. It was one of the most difficult requests, perhaps the single most difficult, ever made to me. No matter how much I wanted to, I could not tell him that I could forgive him. All I could say was that I would try."

Table of Contents

Archbishop Njongonkulu NdunganeJohn de Gruchy and James Cochrane and Stephen MartinCarl NiehausRoger A. ArendseTinyiko Sam MalulekeRobin M. PetersenH. Russel BotmanDavid ChidesterHeidi Grunebaum-Ralph and Oren StierWilliam Johnson EverettCharity MajizaJames Cochrane and John de Gruchy and Stephen Martin
Forewordp. ix
List of abbreviationsp. xi
Introduction: Faith, Struggle and Reconciliationp. 1
Faith Communities and Apartheidp. 15
The RICSA Report
Opening Up: Reflective Essays
1. Reconciliation in South Africa: Is Religion Relevant?p. 81
2. Right-wing Christian Groupsp. 91
3. The Truth and Reconciliation Discourse: A Black Theological Evaluationp. 101
4. The AICs and the TRC: Resistance Redefinedp. 114
5. The Offender and the Churchp. 126
6. Stories, Fragments and Monumentsp. 132
7. The Question (of) Remains: Remembering Shoah, Forgetting Reconciliationp. 142
8. Going Public, Building Covenants: Linking the TRC to Theology and the Churchp. 153
9. Hearing the Truthp. 167
10. Wounded Healersp. 170
Appendix 1 Extracts from the Submission and Testimony of Faith Communities to the TRCp. 175
Appendix 2 A List of Written Materials Received by the TRC from Faith Communitiesp. 191
Appendix 3 Testimony at the Faith Hearingsp. 197
Notesp. 199
Bibliographyp. 225
Indexp. 235