Friday, December 9, 2011

Religious Studies Review, published at Rice University, Texas, has this review of No Enemy to Conquer in its edition of September 2011:

The foreword by the Dalai Lama exemplifies Henderson’s approach to the topic of forgiveness. The work is not an academic treatise but a collection of narratives, amassed as “dramatic evidence validating the power of forgiveness and personal reconciliation to affect national life”: a Nigerian Pentecostal pastor and an imam transition from enemy combatants to allies via forgiveness; hotspot stories from Northern Ireland and South Africa illustrate the power of reconciliation; Indians and Rwandans graduate from victimization to empowerment; and British and Japanese warriors take responsibility to engender new relations. An illustration of a safe place, the Swiss project at Caux, and examples of listening and apologizing conclude this trove of collective wisdom. The lessons learned by those who forged opinions in the fires of hate and turned their stories into bridges to freedom are powerful narratives, which may serve as catalysts for forgiveness and reconciliation. Although most narratives focus more on reconciliation than forgiveness and conflate the concepts such that it is often unclear whether forgiveness or reconciliation is meant, they offer qualitative evidence that a mixture of courage and humility can infuse dialogic encounters with hope that persons of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds can forgive and reconcile rather than perpetuate violence.

Geoffrey W. Sutton
Evangel University

Religious Studies Review is described in its masthead as a 'Quarterly Review of Publications in the Field of Religion and Related Disciplines'.