The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006 - Psychology - 244 pages
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Can one forget atrocities? Should one forgive abusers? Ought we not hope for the final reconciliation of all the wronged and all wrongdoers alike, even if it means spending eternity with perpetrators of evil? We live in an age when it is generally accepted that past wrongs -- genocides, terrorist attacks, bald personal injustices -- should be constantly remembered. But Miroslav Volf here proposes the radical idea that "letting go" of such memories -- after a certain point and under certain conditions -- may actually be the appropriate course of action.

While agreeing with the claim that to remember a wrongdoing is to struggle against it, Volf notes that there are too many ways to remember wrongly, perpetuating the evil committed rather than guarding against it. In this way, the just sword of memory often severs the very good it seeks to defend. He argues that remembering rightly has implications not only for the individual but also for the wrongdoer and for the larger community.

Volfs personal stories of persecution offer a compelling backdrop for his search for theological resources to make memories a wellspring of healing rather than a source of deepening pain and animosity. Controversial, thoughtful, and incisively reasoned, "The End of Memory" begins a conversation hard to ignore.

 

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User Review  - Jared_Runck - LibraryThing

In this work, Volf continues the project begun in “Exclusion and Embrace” and “Free of Charge,” which is to offer a theological account of the idea of Christian forgiveness as it relates to ... Read full review

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Contents

Memory of Interrogations
3
Shield and Sword
19
Speaking Truth Practicing Grace
39
Wounded Self Healed Memories
66
Frameworks of Memories
85
Memory the Exodus and the Passion
103
River of Memory River of Forgetting
131
Defenders of Forgetting
152
Harmonizing and Driving Out
177
Rapt in Goodness
192
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. He has published and edited nine books and over 60 scholarly articles, including his book Exclusion and Embrace, which won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Professor Volf is the founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. His books include Allah: A Christian Response (2011); Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (2006), which was the Archbishop of Canterbury Lenten book for 2006; Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (1996), a winner of the 2002 Grawemeyer Award; and After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (1998), winner of the Christianity Today book award. A member of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. and the Evangelical Church in Croatia, Professor Volf has been involved in international ecumenical dialogues (for instance, with the Vatican¿s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and interfaith dialogues (on the executive board of C-1 World Dialogue), and is active participant in the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum. A native of Croatia, he regularly teaches and lectures in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and across North America. Professor Volf is a fellow of Berkeley College.

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