From Publishers Weekly
Henderson (From India with Hope
), whose Irish Protestant family sought reconciliation with their Catholic compatriots, may be just the sort of eloquent messenger the world needs to understand the utility and not just the symbolic value of forgiveness. Starting with the Dalai Lamas foreword—a paean to the power of redemption—this book is a blissful read and a persuasive argument for forgiveness as a practical tool for global survival. As the author demonstrates in a discussion of (the few) American individuals and institutions that have made formal apologies for the African slave trade, history cannot be redeemed with an apology, but an apology can create a new starting point for history. Most instructive, however, are the stories of people, from Chechnya to Pennsylvania Amish country, who have suffered unspeakable acts at the hands of enemies and staunchly refuse to be consumed by victimhood. Henderson shows the real muscle behind forgiveness, avoiding preciousness and sentimentality. He writes, Forgiveness has an image problem—with this latest effort, perhaps no more. (Feb.)
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In this latest of his trail-blazing books on forgiveness, Michael Henderson does a masterful job of taking us to a new level. In so doing, he capitalizes on the thoughtful reflections of world-class scholars and on insights born of experience, including some from important political figures like the late Benazir Bhutto. Through riveting stories ranging from the heart-breaking massacres of Rwanda and Gujarat to heart-warming quests for forgiveness by the Australians for their past treatment of the Aboriginal people and by the British for their participation in the fire-bombing of Dresden, Henderson takes us on a journey that is both moving and inspiring. This book merits the attention of political leaders and policymakers alike. As the book implies, healing the wounds of history should always take priority over waging war.
--Douglas M. Johnston, President and Founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
This is a timely and necessary book from the pens of distinguished public figures and writers. Showing clearly that there is no military solution to the many problems we face, it is a humane and thoughtful guidebook to the troubled times we live in.
--Martin Bell OBE, UNICEF UK Ambassador
Violence and other forms of sin shrink our lives and our imaginations; forgiveness enables them to expand. In this engaging and stimulating book, Michael Henderson tells stories of extraordinary people from around the world whose commitment to forgiveness stirs our imaginations and offers hope for new life in the future--for all of us wise enough to heed their examples.
--Dean L. Gregory Jones, Dean of the Divinity School and Professor of Theology, Duke University