Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa

Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa : Miracle or Model?

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Was South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) a ""miracle"" that depended on the unique leadership of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu? Or does it provide a working model for other traumatized nations? Addressing these questions, Lyn Graybill explores the political origins, theological underpinnings, and major achievements of the world's most ambitious truth commission - an institution that offered indemnity to perpetrators of gross human rights abuses, and a process that urged victims to forgive. Graybill distills in one concise and very readable volume a vast amount of information on the TRC, including discussions of a number of groups - the media, religious communities, and the medical and business sectors - that came under the scrutiny of the commission. She also addresses the theory and practice of forgiveness and the relative advantages of amnesty vs. prosecution. She concludes with an indictment of the ANC government's failure to enact the commission's recommendations for substantial reparations to victims and with an overview of NGO efforts to continue the reconciliation process. Graybill explores the political origins, theological underpinnings, and major achievements of the world's most ambitious truth commission.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 230 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 17.8mm | 408.24g
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • English
  • 158826081X
  • 9781588260819

Table of contents

Introduction. Setting Up the TRC. Nelson Mandela: Pragmatic Reconciler. Desmond Tutu's Theology of Reconciliation. Forgiving the Unforgivable. Amnesty: A Controversial Compromise. Storytelling. Women's Testimony Before the TRC. Innocent Bystanders? Media Hearings. Wounded Healers: The Churches Respond. The Rest of the Story. A Workable Model?
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Review quote

"Lyn Graybill offers remarkable insights into how one nation has dealt with an emotionally charged issue... that can be helpful to other deeply divided countries." - Paul Simon
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About Lyn S. Graybill

Lyn Graybill is on the faculty of the University of Virginia's Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction. She is author of Religion and Resistance Politics in South Africa and coeditor of Africa's Second Wave of Freedom: Development, Democracy and Rights.
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