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Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics$
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Thomas Banchoff

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195323405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323405.001.0001

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Religious Actors and Transitional Justice

Religious Actors and Transitional Justice

(p.155) 7 Religious Actors and Transitional Justice
Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics

Leslie Vinjamuri

Aaron P. Boesenecker

Oxford University Press

Truth commissions, war crime trials, lustration, and amnesty are all strategies that states have pursued following regime transitions and civil wars. Religious communities, local, national, and international, have been key players in efforts to break with an oppressive and violent past, in countries ranging from South Africa to East Timor. One distinguishing characteristic of such engagement has been a particular conception of justice anchored in religious ethics, in particular the emphasis placed on forgiveness and reconciliation. The chapter shows how a focus on dialogue and restorative justice—alongside and, in some cases in place of, traditional ways to punish evildoers—is a proven way to heal wounds in the wake of some divisive civil conflicts.

Keywords:   amnesty, justice, South Africa, East Timor, ethics, forgiveness, reconciliation, civil war

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