Transitional Justice and the Trinity: A Christian Ethic for Reconciliation and Peacebuilding Restricted; Files Only

McCarty III, James William (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/nz806041p?locale=en
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Abstract

This dissertation proposes a social trinitarian interpretation of the image of God as the foundation for a theory of reconciliation as the restoration or creation of rights-respecting relationships. In making this argument I lend theological support to advocates of "reconciliationism" in transitional justice and international peacebuilding. Transitional justice and international peacebuilding are disciplines that focus on questions about the nature and pursuit of justice and peace in transitional and post-conflict societies. Reconciliationists have answered those questions by suggesting that to do justice and create a sustainable peace the focus in transitional societies should be on the restoration of right relationships. This dissertation, then, is a contribution to the growing literature on reconciliationism.

Advocates of reconciliationism have generally assumed human interdependence as a starting point for their work. However, this assumption has not been sufficiently developed or grounded. I, therefore, defend a theology of human interdependence that locates the image of God in human relationships intended to embody the divine perichoretic relationships. This theological anthropology is simultaneously able to ground human rights and practices of restorative justice as requirements of reconciliation after the violation of those rights.

In making this argument I claim that reconciliationism is the appropriate approach to transitional justice and peacebuilding for Christians to take because it is the one most consistent with a trinitarian theological anthropology. In addition, I argue that this theology of interdependence requires a Christian theology of reconciliation that emphasizes justice, both as restorative justice and as human rights, rather than prioritizing forgiveness. Finally, I suggest that theologies and philosophies of human interdependence can be a ground for an overlapping consensus on the need for reconciliationism in transitional societies.

Table of Contents

I. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCING RECONCILIATIONISM______________________________1

a. The Thesis___________________________________________________________________________8

b. Reconciliationism_________________________________________________________________13

c. Philpott's Just and Unjust Peace__________________________________________________22

d. A Note on Method_________________________________________________________________33

e. Conclusion_________________________________________________________________________35

II.CHAPTER TWO: RECONCILIATIONISM IN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE AND PEACEBUILDING______________________________________________________________________38

a. What is Transitional Justice?_____________________________________________________38

i. Phase I Transitional Justice______________________________________________43

ii. A Case Study in Phase I Justice: The Frankfurt-Auschwitz Trials_____44

iii. Phase II Transitional Justice_____________________________________________49

iv. A Case Study in Phase II Justice: South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission______________________________________________52

v. Phase III Transitional Justice____________________________________________63

vi. A Case Study in Phase III Justice: Kony 2012___________________________65

b. What is Liberal Peacebuilding?__________________________________________________70

c. Conclusion_________________________________________________________________________89

III.CHAPTER THREE: TOWARD A SOCIAL TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY OF RECONCILIATION_____________________________________________________________________92

a. Experiments with Ubuntu in South Africa______________________________________94

i. Desmond Tutu on Reconciliation as Restorative Justice_______________94

ii. Ubuntu and the Image of God____________________________________________99

iii. Ubuntu and Reconciliationism_________________________________________106

b. A Brief History of Social Trinitarian Theology________________________________113

i. Relationality and Divine Personhood__________________________________119

ii. Perichoresis______________________________________________________________124

c. The Image of God in Christian Ethics__________________________________________129

d. Perichoresis and the Image of God_____________________________________________137

e. Conclusion_______________________________________________________________________145

IV.CHAPTER FOUR: GOING BEYOND FORGIVENESS IN SOCIAL TRINITARIAN THEOLOGIES OF RECONCILIATION________________________________________________148

a. A Brief History of Forgiveness__________________________________________________152

b. Forgiveness, the Trinity, and Christian Virtue________________________________159

c. Miroslav Volf's Social Trinitarian Theology of Reconciliation_______________170

i. The Sin of Exclusion_____________________________________________________170

ii. Reconciliation as Embrace______________________________________________179

d. The Justice of Embrace?_________________________________________________________188

e. A Case Study: The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission_____194

i. The Greensboro TRC____________________________________________________195

ii. Learning from Greensboro_____________________________________________202

f. Conclusion_______________________________________________________________________204

V.CHAPTER FIVE: A FRAMEWORK FOR RECONCILIATIONISM IN ACTION_______________________________________________________________________________207

a. History___________________________________________________________________________209

b. Culture___________________________________________________________________________209

c. Context___________________________________________________________________________210

d. Institutional Relationships______________________________________________________210

e. Personal Relationships__________________________________________________________211

f. Future Relationships____________________________________________________________212

g. Conclusion_______________________________________________________________________212

BIBLIOGRAPHY______________________________________________________________________

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