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Towards a Paschal Theology of Restorative Justice

William J. Danaher, Jr.

In this essay, I argue that the resurrection, rather than the atonement, provides the proper starting point for theological reflection on reconciliation and restorative justice. To frame this discussion, I survey attitudes toward the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa (TRC) in order to trace the achievements and limitations of reconciliation and restorative justice. This makes it possible to develop a point of verification to assay theologies of reconciliation that begin with the doctrine of the atonement, particularly that developed by South African theologian John de Gruchy. Drawing from the work of Rowan Williams, I suggest ways in which the resurrection provides a better starting point for contending with the achievements and limitations of the TRC, as well as ongoing commitment to the work of reconciliation and restorative justice.

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