Politics of Past Evil, The
Religion, Reconciliation, and the Dilemmas of Transitional Justice
Paperback | 9780268038908 | May 2006
Hardcover | 9780268038892 | May 2006
Over the past two or three decades, all over the world, a formidable number of societies have sought to confront past evil—the injustices of communism, military dictatorship, apartheid, or civil war. Emergent is the concept of reconciliation, whose meaning philosophers and social scientists now debate in the context of political transitions in countries as diverse as South Africa, East Timor, Guatemala, and the Czech Republic. Most of these debates, though, share a secularism that is at variance with the beliefs of many of the participants in these transitions.
What unfolds in this volume, in contrast, is a conversation about reconciliation whose common denominator is theology. Theologians, philosophers, and political scientists explore the meaning of reconciliation for the politics of transition. Alan Torrance, David Burrell, C.S.C., Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Daniel Philpott draw on theology for their theoretical perspectives; A. James McAdams, Mark Amstutz, and Ronald Wells chart the path of reconciliation in Germany, Argentina, South Africa, and Northern Ireland. Scott Appleby offers a concluding essay. Their insights will interest a wide variety of readers, both scholars and generalists, both with and without theological commitments.
Daniel Philpott is a professor in the department of political science and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations.
“The Politics of Past Evil sheds light on an important question: How do newly established democratic governments—in countries that previously lived under Communism, military dictatorship, or apartheid—address the crimes and injustices committed by the previous regime?. . . The book as a whole is both innovative and provocative. It enriches the literature on democratization by introducing theological as well as political and philosophical reasoning into the transitional logic.” ~Journal of Cold War Studies