Reconciliation by Muthuraj Swamy
Few of us have escaped, from interested but perplexed observers of our Churches, the understandable criticism that we seem incapable of living together peaceably. Conflict and division run deep. How do we live together with difference? How might we be people of peace? What have we to say and do today into our nation so beset by Brexit?
This book offers the reader a guide to Reconciliation. Forty chapters ask us define the nature of peace making. This is based in the strengthening of relationships through the intentional forging of making connections with people who are different as we nurture open attitudes towards neighbours from other religions and ideologies.
Swamy is a South Indian theologian presently working in Cambridge and as theologian for the Anglican Communion. He brings to this book a broad horizon, a faithful attention to the guiding authority of Scripture, and a deep desire to heal brokenness as a journey into otherness. In this task the chapters of the book will require its reader to change. Any new life is birthed through a facing of our (and others) limitations and sin as we become midwives of reconciliation.
The book offers 40 bible studies for each of the days of Lent. They are designed to be read alone or in groups. The following themes are explored: the foundations of reconciliation, impediments to reconciliation, risking the self to reconcile those in conflict, the need for humility and self-criticism, the call to radical openness and peace with justice. The questions that end each chapter are particularly well constructed.
In these pages you will find the gift of new perspectives, a call to change for the sake of our religious convictions and a reassuring reminder of the profound wisdom of our Gospel which is ours to proclaim and live for a better world. I commend this Lent book warmly to you.
Reviewed by James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College