Speaking to Reconciliation
Voices of Faith Addressing Racial and Cultural Divides
John B. Hatch
In North America, Africa, and across the globe, many societies are deeply divided along racial, ethnic, political, or religious lines as a result of violent/oppressive histories. Bridging such divides requires symbolic action that transcends, reframes, redeems, and repairs—often drawing upon resources of faith. Speaking to Reconciliation showcases this tradition through speeches by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Elie Wiesel, Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Ireland’s President Mary McAleese, and others. Some of these speeches set forth principles or spiritual practices of reconciliation. Others acknowledge injustice, make apologies for historical wrongs, call for reparations, or commend the power of forgiveness. Speaking to Reconciliation presents a conceptual framework for doing analysis and critique of reconciliation discourse and applies this framework in introductions to the speeches, offering readers a springboard for further study and, potentially, inspiration to promote justice and reconciliation in their own spheres.