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Truth and Reconciliation: Irreconcilable Differences? an Ethical Evaluation of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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This article is a theologico-ethical evaluation of the five-volume Report, published in October 1998, of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It comprises two major parts, the first a summary of the principles and political decisions that led to the formation of the commission and focusing primarily on the first volume, which deals with the TRC's mandate, method, structure and methodology, and on the fifth, which deals with the broader ethical, philosophical and religious principles which underlay that mandate. The second part is a theological and ethical evaluation which draws on the experiences of other such commissions, contemporary South African theologians and ethicists. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is found to have begun the process of bringing truth and reconciliation together, a process that requires, in addition, constructive action by the state, civil society, particularly churches (and other religions) and individuals, as the bearers of a moral order.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy and Religion MSC 7054 James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807 United States of America


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