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In die Skriflig

versão On-line ISSN 2305-0853
versão impressa ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.43 no.2 Pretoria Jan. 2009




Taking responsibility for reconciliation: A Christian response to the legacy and challenges of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)


Aanvaar verantwoordelikheid vir rekonsiliasie: 'n Christelike benadering tot die uitdagings en gevolge deur die Waarheid- en Versoeningskommissie nagelaat



S. Barry

School of Ecclesiastical Science, Potchefstroom. CampusNorth-West University. Potchefstroom. E-mail:




At the conclusion of the TRC, Desmond Tutu stated that the Commission's task was to promote, not to achieve, reconciliation. Reconciliation, he maintained, is the responsibility of all South Africans, and expressed the hope that the Christian churches would be in the forefront of this healing process.
This article explores how the Christian church can be in the forefront of binding up the wounds, facilitating the healing process, and living as a people and a sign of hope. The answers it seeks to offer fall under three interrelated themes, namely the church's:
spirituality of reconciliation;
ministry and mission of reconciliation; and
resources for its ministry and mission of reconciliation.
Cultivating a spirituality of reconciliation would mean making reconciliation a lifestyle, rather than a series of strategies, programmes or initiatives, yet remaining concrete, practical, measurable and accountable.
The church's mission is primarily to proclaim the good news of God's Kingdom that is already here, but not yet fully here and therefore still to come. This proclamation is the message of reconciliation between God, others and the self, and anticipates the unity of all creation in Jesus Christ.
The resources given to the church to fulfil this apostolic ministry include prophecy, evangelism, pastoral care and teaching, as well as its liturgical and sacramental life, its ministry of presence, its people and its commitment to social justice.


Met die afsluiting van die Waarheid- en Versoeningskommissie, het Desmond Tutu 'n stelling gemaak, dat dit die Kommissie se taak was om versoening te bevorder, nie te bereik nie. Hy het dit voorgehou dat rekonsiliasie die verantwoordelikheid van alle Suid-Afrikaners is, en die hoop uitgespreek dat die Christelike kerke op die voorpunt van hierdie genesingsproses sou wees.
Hierdie artikel ondersoek maniere waarop die Christelike kerk op die voorpunt kan wees as dit kom by die verbinding van wonde, die fasilitering van die genesingsproses, en die daarstelling van 'n lewende voorbeeld van eenheid en hoop. Die antwoorde wat voorgestel word, val uiteen in drie verwante temas, naamlik die kerk se:
gees van versoening;
bediening en missie van versoening; en
hulpbronne vir die bediening en missie van versoening.
Om 'n gees van versoening te kweek, beteken om versoening as 'n leefwyse te ontwikkel eerder as 'n reeks strategieë, programme of inisiatiewe - dit moet steeds konkreet, prakties, meetbaar en verantwoordelik bly.
Die kerk se missie is primêr die verkondiging van die goeie nuus, dat God se Koningkryk reeds hier is, maar nog nie in sy volheid nie, en dus nog moet kom. Hierdie verkondiging is die boodskap van versoening tussen God, ander mense, en die self. Dit plaas die eenheid van die ganse skepping deur Christus in afwagting.
Die hulpbronne aan die kerk verleen om hierdie apostoliese bediening te volbring, sluit profesie, evangelisasie, pastorale sorg en skoling in, asook die kerk se liturgiese en sakramentele elemente, sy bediening deur teenwoordig te wees, sy lede en sy toewyding tot sosiale geregtigheid.



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List of references

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