An Assessment of Contemporary Models of Forgiveness

Author: Célestin Musekura

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9781433108747

Category: Religion

Page: 226

View: 2641


An Assessment of Contemporary Models of Forgiveness examines recent psychological and theological models of forgiveness and introduces the concept of communal forgiveness nurtured and mediated through the community of faith. The psychological models are generally individualistic in nature and are concerned with the psychological wellbeing of the victims. The theological models of forgiveness emphasize the importance of interpersonal forgiveness as a Christian witness in the imitation of God's forgiveness. The foundation of the theological models is the Triune God who through the cross of Christ forgave the sins of the ungodly. "Celestin Musekura had just begun doctoral studies in Dallas when he learned that many of his own family members had been killed in a wave of genocide reprisals back home in Rwanda. Revenge would have been understandable, but he said, 'I have preached forgiveness, and now it is my turn to practice it. To my family I say, I will pray for those who brutally murdered you, and I will care for their children.' It should come as no surprise that Celestin's understanding of forgiveness, well expressed in these pages, is restoring communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. He knows and practices that of which he speaks. This book sets a course for realistic, collective transformation."-Robert A. Pyne, Th.D., Director, Peace and Justice Center, St. Norbert College

Song of Exile

The Enduring Mystery of Psalm 137

Author: David W. Stowe

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190466847

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 4021


Oft-referenced and frequently set to music, Psalm 137 - which begins "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion" - has become something of a cultural touchstone for music and Christianity across the Atlantic world. It has been a top single more than once in the 20th century, from Don McLean's haunting Anglo-American folk cover to Boney M's West Indian disco mix. In Song of Exile, David Stowe uses a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary approach that combines personal interviews, historical overview, and textual analysis to demonstrate the psalm's enduring place in popular culture. The line that begins Psalm 137 - one of the most lyrical of the Hebrew Bible - has been used since its genesis to evoke the grief and protest of exiled, displaced, or marginalized communities. Despite the psalm's popularity, little has been written about its reception during the more than 2,500 years since the Babylonian exile. Stowe locates its use in the American Revolution and the Civil Rights movement, and internationally by anti-colonial Jamaican Rastafari and immigrants from Ireland, Korea, and Cuba. He studies musical references ranging from the Melodians' Rivers of Babylon to the score in Kazakh film Tulpan. Stowe concludes by exploring the presence and absence in modern culture of the often-ignored final words: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." Usually excised from liturgy and forgotten by scholars, Stowe finds these words echoed in modern occurrences of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and more generally in the culture of vengeance that has existed in North America from the earliest conflicts with Native Americans. Based on numerous interviews with musicians, theologians, and writers, Stowe reconstructs the rich and varied reception history of this widely used, yet mysterious, text.