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The Theology of Political Reconciliation: The cases of South Africa, Germany and Ireland

Seminar Series: Faith and Governance
When Dec 04, 2013
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where St Edmund's College, Garden Room
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Professor Ralf Wüstenberg (Flensburg University, Germany) will deliver the third lecture in the 2013-14 Seminar Series Faith and Governance

In his talk Professor Wüstenberg explores the political and theological dimensions of reconciliation in South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela and in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. What were the points of departure in the transition of the two societies? Why did South Africa decide in favour of a settlement by amnesty, while in Germany serious violations of human rights were dealt with by criminal prosecution? Why did both countries demand an investigation of past crimes and decide that the search for 'truth' is a condition for reconciliation? The theological dimensions of reconciliation (such as repentance or forgiveness) will be analyzed using an example from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The talk will be followed by a response from the VHI Director Professor John Loughlin who will examine the issues raised by Professor Wüstenberg for the aftermath of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Professor Wüstenberg is Director of the Institute for Protestant and Catholic Theology at Flensburg University. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge in 2013 and will be a Visiting Professor at St. Edmund's College in 2014. His research focus is on the political dimension of reconciliation and he is the author and editor of many books on the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The audio-recording of the seminar is now available online.

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