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Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation

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Winner of the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award in Missions / Global Affairs Winner of the Aldersgate Prize Honorable Mention Winner of the 2014 International Studies Association International Ethics Section Book Award In the wake of massive injustice, how can justice be achieved and peace restored? Is it possible to find a universal standard that will work for people of diverse and often conflicting religious, cultural, and philosophical backgrounds? In Just and Unjust Peace, Daniel Philpott offers an innovative and hopeful response to these questions. He challenges the approach to peace-building that dominates the United Nations, western governments, and the human rights community. While he shares their commitments to human rights and democracy, Philpott argues that these values alone cannot redress the wounds caused by war, genocide, and dictatorship. Both justice and the effective restoration of political order call for a more holistic, restorative approach. Philpott answers that call by proposing a form of political reconciliation that is deeply rooted in three religious traditions--Christianity, Islam, and Judaism--as well as the restorative justice movement. These traditions offer the fullest expressions of the core concepts of justice, mercy, and peace. By adapting these ancient concepts to modern constitutional democracy and international norms, Philpott crafts an ethic that has widespread appeal and offers real hope for the restoration of justice in fractured communities. From the roots of these traditions, Philpott develops six practices--building just institutions and relations between states, acknowledgment, reparations, restorative punishment, apology and, most important, forgiveness--which he then applies to real cases, identifying how each practice redresses a unique set of wounds. Focusing on places as varied as Bosnia, Iraq, South Africa, Germany, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Chile and many others--and drawing upon the actual experience of victims and perpetrators--Just and Unjust Peace offers a fresh approach to the age-old problem of restoring justice in the aftermath of widespread injustice.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 09, 2012 – A professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, Philpott (God’s Century) puts forth a compelling argument for a religious ethic of reconciliation to solve such political conflicts as war, genocide, and other forms of national ethnic or racial crimes. As he points out, reconciliation has found its way into numerous global conflicts, most famously South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Philpott argues the same ethic can be applied in Jewish and Muslim contexts. Frustrated with the current legal system of trial, sentencing, and imprisonment, Philpott advocates for alternative practices such as acknowledgment, reparations, punishment, apology, and forgiveness. Aware some may see these practices as idealistic, utopian, or sectarian, Philpott argues they can create trust, legitimacy, and national loyalty where current practices fall short. A dense, often repetitive work, general readers will need patience to slog through this academic prose. But they will eventually be rewarded with greater understanding of a timely and powerful subject.
Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation
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  • $19.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Religion & Spirituality
  • Published: Jan 05, 2012
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Seller: Oxford University Press
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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