Original Research - Special Collecion: Reconciliation

Reconciliation as narrative: Witnessing against a too easy and a too difficult reconciliation

N Botha
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 29, No 3 | a35 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v29i3.35 | © 2008 N Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 June 2008 | Published: 17 November 2008

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Abstract

Reconciliation as narrative: Witnessing against a too easy and a too difficult reconciliation

After the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994 diverse paradigms on reconciliation have appeared on the scene. In this article these paradigms are not discredited so much for being downright unproductive, but they are found to be either too prescriptive as is the case with the TRC or too limited as is the case with the three paradigms of which mere sketches are offered.


The main thrust of the article is a proposal on developing reconciliation as narrative in contradistinction to a dogmatic, technical approach to reconciliation as something to be organised, to be prescribed and engineered. The basic thesis of the article is that narrative can potentially create vast space for story-telling and for many more voices to be heard on the issue of reconciliation. The notion of narrative is advanced as a serious academic category and not an intellectual fad. A further issue is illustrating how issues like remembering, forgiveness and justice need to be brought into discourse with reconciliation.


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