Reconsidering the Roads to Reconciliation: Looking Back at 'die Wende' with Theologians From the Former DDR

Kjetil Hafstad
Thinking about Reconciliation One of the advantages of doing theology is that we can raise the great questions of life without people being much surprised-that is our job anyway. In the academic world, the great questions are often substituted by a lot of very small ones, because small questions are possible to handle in a more secured scientific way. I will now try, not only to raise a huge question on reconciliation, but also allow for a critical examination of the deep structures of
more » ... ation between individuals and people. I will humbly ask whether our thinking on this field is dominated by established habits and heavy traditions, and perhaps in this way is kept at a certain distance from everyday experiences. Is it possible, at least in some cases, to simplify the very way we think about reconciliation? I am well aware of that only raising this question will call for a host of objections, well established in moral discourse and church preaching and praxis. I will not be able to discuss the objections in this chapter. I want to discuss limited parts of the field. As a start I will only present an argument in favour of trying and experiencing some ways to reconciliation, much simpler than the traditional theological understanding of penitence, through confession, repentance, judgement, sacrifice, forgiveness and reconciliation.