LTP: 1-56854-098-1 (CODE: RECON)

The experience of alienation and reconciliation is so fundamentally human that no one field of study or branch of the humanities can contain it. For this reason, the reader will find in this Reconciliation Sourcebook a wide range of texts that attempt to give insight from a variety of cultural and disciplinary starting points. Even so, the experience escapes us. Deep within us, we know that to be human is to be in communion with others beyond the place where our flesh ends. Yet, even at the same moment of this insight of relational intimacy, we know equally well that our deep desire for communion is never quite realized. Sin, guilt, pain, bondage (just to name a few of the most familiar metaphors for this experience of unrealized intimacy) prevent us from the very thing that drives our lives.

To end here might lead to despair; indeed, history, both personal and public, is full of examples of those who acquiesced to the seductive power of melancholy over the human condition. If these few texts do nothing else, they (re)inspire hope that the work of reconciliation is even more human and thus more fundamental to one's life-project than the brokenness and fragmentation none of us can escape. While from a theological perspective we might call this movement toward reconciliation grace, theology is not the only language spoken in these pages. These texts address alienation at many levels, and just as richly express different languages of reconciliation: forgiveness, healing, liberation, mercy, joyfulness, meaning--the list goes on.

We use the familiar parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24) as the organizing framework for these texts. It is a narrative that highlights the many and necessary exigencies of the process of reconciliation: division, forgetfulness, alienation, honest remembrance, contrition, penance, mercy without condition, ritual, celebration, proclamation. While it has helped us to sort the texts for the purpose of this project, the reader will soon realize that our decision about the placement of a particular text was, in many cases, arbitrary. This is due to two reasons: the richness of many of these texts lends them to the entire process of reconciliation rather than to one moment in the process; and the experience of reconciliation is quite messy and defies logical sequence. Even so, we found this parable to be a workable means to allow these texts to speak for themselves without forcing them against their will to conform to any particular theme.

Our audacious attempts to compile a sourcebook on recon- ciliation could not have been accomplished without sub- stantial and impressive help. We asked colleagues and friends to contribute selections, and we received generous responses from nearly fifty of them: J. Robert Baker; John J. Begley, SJ; Eleanor Bernstein, CSJ; Barbara E. Bowe, RSCJ; Sheila Browne, RSM; David J. Cinquegrani, CP; Kathleen Cour, OP; James Dennison; Rosemary Dewey, RSCJ; Godfrey Diekmann, OSB; James Donohue, CR; Doris Donnelly; Toinette M. Eugene; Peter C. Finn; Timothy Fitzgerald; Edward Foley, CAPUCHIN; John B. Foley, SJ; Mary Frohlich; Genevieve Glen, OSB; Richard Gula, SS; Sally Harmony; Stephen R. Haynes; J. Frank Henderson; Denise Herrmann, CSA; Barbara Hoffman; Lawrence A. Hoffman; Gabe Huck; Jan Michael Joncas; Sharon Karam, RSCJ; Jefrey M. Kemper; Robert J. Kennedy; Bruce H. Lescher; Tina Moreau; J. Glenn Murray, SJ; Paul J. Niemann; Melissa Musick Nussbaum; Ronald A. Oakham, OCarm; Timothy E. O'Connell; Carolyn A. Osiek, RSCJ; Gilbert Ostdiek, OFM; Jorge Perales; Paul Philibert, OP; Daniel E. Pilarczyk; Barbara E. Quinn, RSCJ; Jay Cooper Rochelle; Victoria Tufano; Paul J. Wadell, OP; and Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS. Because of their interest, scholarship and commitment, this book contains a much richer variety of selected texts.

While we have strived to select texts across religious traditions and across a variety of genres and disciplines, sometimes our balance is far from perfect. We would like to have included more texts by women. Every reader will wonder how we could have overlooked their favorite text on the topic. While we had to stop somewhere and publish this work, the very genre of a sourcebook means that it is a work in progress. Feel free to add your own texts to the ones we have included here. We have already discovered others we now wish could be included.

We have edited texts to use inclusive language if such editing did not change the meaning of the text. All scripture comes from the New Revised Standard Version which uses inclusive language in its translation whenever possible.

In the end, this sourcebook on reconciliation, like those published before it, is like going to a wine-tasting. For some, it will be enough to sip a little from the full variety of short texts included here and come away satisfied. For others, one text or another may so overwhelm your palate that you will have to buy an entire bottle. For these connoisseurs, the endnotes will prove extraordinarily helpful in locating the full text. In whatever unique way you use this sourcebook, may it help you to drink deeply of and become inebriated with the human drama of alienation and reconciliation. To our minds, becoming human can be accomplished in no less passionate way. - Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ & Joseph A. Favazza (from the Introduction)

This item does not qualify for free shipping. However, normal shipping applies and there is never a surcharge.

add_to_cart.gif  view_cart.gif