Forgiveness and the Reintegration of Child Soldiers
2021 | 78pp | ISBN: 978-1-914454-28-8
“Singg dohn, wohd lehf”:
The Song is Sung, the Words Remain
During the ten years’ civil war in Sierra Leone, children were both victims and perpetrators of horrendous crimes. Many of these former child soldiers sought reunification with their families and communities, whose openness to this was essential. Yet it was not just reunification, it was reintegration they were after. The inherent complexities of this beg the question: Can practices of forgiveness serve the reintegration process? This mini-book, a summation of a larger body of work, explores the transformative possibilities of forgiveness and its power to reshape individuals and communities as they seek new futures together.
A stunning account of forgiveness as more than a mere theological abstraction and more than just an interpersonal practice. This is forgiveness as repair of the social fabric torn asunder by the horrors of war. The stories are heartbreaking, but the hope is powerful—hope not just for repair but for embrace and a return to the communal home and, ultimately, to flourishing life.
Matthew Croasmun, Associate Research Scholar, Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School, author of For the Life of the World: Theology that Makes a Difference and The Emergence of Sin: The Cosmic Tyrant in Romans.