After Violence: Religion, Trauma and Reconciliation

January 31, 2012

After Violence: Religion, Trauma and Reconciliation is a new publication edited by Andrea Bieler, Christian Bingel and Hans-Martin Gutmann. The violence unleashed in various forms of warfare and systemic injustice does not simply disappear once a war or a dictatorship is officially ended. The effects of violence continue to live on powerfully in both psychic processes and in communal and personal relationships.

What enables people to live in the aftermath of traumatizing acts of violence? Is it possible to disrupt the vicious circle of destructive reciprocity at work in armed conflicts, wars, and genocide? What does it mean to open up spaces of remembrance and mourning which do not reproduce violence mimetically? What does it mean to reflect theologically on reconciliation in these contexts? Is it possible to achieve reconciliation that does not let the perpetrators of violence off too easy, thus adding to the humiliation of the survivors? The contributors to this volume examine an array of situations in the aftermath of violence, in which new forms of violence have emerged, including post-Apartheid South Africa, Rwanda after the genocide, postcolonial New Guinea, Ireland and Northern Ireland since the ‘Good Friday Agreement’, Argentina after militarist rule, Western Africa after civil wars, and Germany after the Shoah.

This book is directed at students and teachers of religion, anthropology, and history, as
well as professionals involved in therapy, counseling and pastoral work who are looking for new ways of dealing with situations ‘after violence‘.

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