Resources for Reconciliation

In a world that is often marked by conflict, Christian leaders and their institutions provide direction and theological meaning in our efforts to reconcile to God, ourselves, one another and all of creation. To cultivate thriving communities, we are called to participate in God’s redemption of the world by bearing witness to God’s grace and love.

Our resources, while not exhaustive, will allow you to explore this topic more fully. The foundational resources are important for the development of transformative leaders. The formational resources are of a different sort. These are meant to spark your imagination by introducing you to stories and ideas that have surprising insight into the practice of Christian leadership.

Foundational Resources

  • Communities of Shalom – This website seeks to support local communities working toward systemic change and social transformation
  • Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf – A theological exploration of identity, otherness and reconciliation worth reflecting upon for anyone in missions
  • More Than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel by Spencer Perkins and Chris Rice - Two friends write from the heart of Mississippi with a vision and call to hope for whites and African Americans to live together in peace. Recipient of a 1994 Christianity Today Critics Choice Award. (For further reflection, see interview with John M. Perkins.)
  • No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu – Tutu’s memoir about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and South Africa’s efforts to heal from the scars of apartheid
  • Reconciling All Things by Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice – Sets the theological framework for Christian reconciliation and reorients us from an activist mentality to a journey of holiness into God’s embrace. Also visit the Duke Center for Reconciliation website. (For further reflection, see an excerpt from the book.)
  • The Beloved Community by Charles Marsh – Focuses on Martin Luther King Jr.’s theological vision of the beloved community and provides stories of communities that are living into King’s vision
  • The Politics of Gentleness by Stanley Hauerwas – Hauerwas’ reflections on L’Arche (founded by Jean Vanier) (For further reflection, see video interviews with Jean Vanier and Stanley Hauerwas.)
  • The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann Brueggemann, of Columbia Theological Seminary, brings his Hebrew Bible expertise to bear on the experiences of suffering and hope with attention to the church’s relationship to empire.
  • The Violence of Love by Oscar Romero – Selected sermons and writings by the assassinated archbishop of San Salvador that speak for the poor and against oppression
  • Travelers on the Journey by Mark Constantine – Stories of six socially engaged pastors across the American South working for change
  • Embodying Forgiveness by L. Gregory Jones – A theological analysis of contemporary thought on forgiveness. (For further reflection, see L. Gregory Jones column on Leadership as loving enemies.)
  • A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez – This seminal book for liberation theology argues for God’s care for the poor and oppressed

Formational Resources

  • Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos – The fictional tale of a modern New York man seeking reconciliation with the gunman who killed his son
  • Playing the Enemy by John Carlin – The unexpected story of how Nelson Mandela creatively used the national rugby team to bring together a post-apartheid nation still divided by race (for more discussion, read L. Gregory Jones’ reflection on Mandela as a witness to moral leadership and Jason Byassee’s reflection on the lives of André Trocmé and Nelson Mandela)
  • Selected Stories by Andre Dubus – Short stories that realistically — and at times graphically — explore the modern landscape of brokenness and pain
  • The Chosen and The Promise by Chaim Potok – Both novels explore the rich religious lives of Jewish characters as they experience the clash between Hasidic and modern culture
  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler – This novel paints a picture of what happens when a dysfunctional family can’t gather around a table for a meal