By Donald W. Shriver
Our century has witnessed violence on an remarkable scale, in wars that experience torn deep into the cloth of nationwide and foreign existence. And as we will be able to see within the contemporary strife in Bosnia, genocide in Rwanda, and the continuing fight to regulate nuclear weaponry, historical enmities proceed to threaten the lives of lots of humans. As by no means ahead of, the query is pressing and useful: How can nations--or ethnic teams, or races--after lengthy, sour struggles, learn how to reside facet by way of part in peace? In An Ethic for Enemies, Donald W. Shriver, Jr., President Emeritus of Union Theological Seminary, argues that the answer lies in our capability to forgive. Taking forgiveness out of its conventional unique organization with own faith and morality, Shriver urges us to acknowledge its value within the secular political area. the guts of the ebook examines 3 robust and relocating instances from fresh American history--our postwar dealings with Germany, with Japan, and our carrying on with household challenge with race relations--cases within which acts of forgiveness have had very important political results. Shriver lines how postwar Germany, in its fight to damage with its political previous, improved from denial of a Nazi prior, to a proper acknowledgement of the crimes of Nazi Germany, to supplying fabric reimbursement for survivors of the Holocaust. He additionally examines the efforts of Japan and the U.S., through the years and throughout barriers of race and tradition, to forgive the wrongs devoted by way of either peoples in the course of the Pacific struggle. and eventually he deals a desirable dialogue of the position of forgiveness within the American civil rights flow. He indicates, for example, that even Malcolm X famous the necessity to movement from contempt for the integrationist excellent to a extra conciliatory, repentant stance towards Civil Rights leaders. Malcolm got here to determine that in simple terms via forgiveness may possibly the separate voices of the African-American stream interact to accomplish their pursuits. If mutual forgiveness used to be a thorough proposal in 1964, Shriver reminds us that it has but to be learned in 1994. "We are a ways from ceasing to carry the sins of the ancestors opposed to their dwelling children," he writes. but during this poignant quantity, we find how, by way of forgiving, enemies can development and feature stepped forward towards peace. A well timed antidote to modern day political conflicts, An Ethic for Enemies demanding situations to us to confront the hatreds that cripple society and threaten to damage the worldwide village.
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Additional resources for An Ethic For Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics
In the preceding drama, The Choephori, the chorus had summarized the terror of unending vengeance in these verses: Â 43 44 < previous page < previous page page_14 page_140 next page > next page > Page 140 our occupying troops began to experience the gentleness, artistry, pragmatism, social cohesiveness, and respect for authority in Japanese culture. Americans are not the only pragmatic people in the world: the Japanese quickly acknowledged that their war had not succeeded. The victors deserved respect for their success; they had earned their right to shape a new Japanese society and especially to abolish the military system that had led to such disaster.
As the fiftieth anniversary events testify, the answer is difficult and necessarily ambiguous. Moral stances native to two cultures are still clashing. Americans remain perplexed and offended that any Japanese official in 1991 could continue to speak of the evils of the Pacific war as an "annoyance" to other countries, and especially that any should resist at least apologizing for the "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor. On their side the Japanese are equally perplexed about American preoccupation with this detail of the war.
In long-delayed revenge for this murder of her daughter, Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon, murders her husband. This provokes the son of the family, Orestes, to murder her in turn. Eumenides opens at this stage of the story. "10 Silent throughout the drama, a jury of twelve Athenian citizens, all men, are the audience before whom the trial is played out. At the end they are to decide between Apollo's case for Orestes and the Furies' case against him. This jury is the mythical prototype of the supreme court of Athens, the Areopagus.
An Ethic For Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics by Donald W. Shriver