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Tragedy and Ethics: Responding to the Crisis of Historic Sexual Abuse

Fergus J. King

Issues of child sexual abuse currently loom large in the life of a number of churches. This article draws on the insights of the late Donald MacKinnon, who viewed tragedy as a vital component of ethical reflection, to explore the human dimensions of a Christian response to abuse in such a way that the needs of survivors are paramount, perpetrators are challenged by the message of God’s unconditional love to repentance and transformation, and churches and institutions do not put their corporate needs over those of individuals and families.

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