|Author/Contributor(s):||Shriver, Donald W|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
personal dimensions of forgiveness and repentance to the near-total neglect of their collective aspects. Recently, however, the idea of collective moral responsibility has gained new and public visibility. Official apologies for past collective injustice have multiplied, along with calls for reparations. Shriver looks in detail at the examples of Germany and South Africa, and their pioneering efforts to foster and express collective repentance. He then turns to the historic wrongs perpetrated against African Americans and Native Americans and to recent efforts by American citizens and governmental bodies to seek public justice by remembering public injustice. The call for collective repentance presents many challenges: What can it mean to morally master a past whose victims are dead and whose sufferings cannot be alleviated? What are the measures that lend substance to language and action expressing repentance? What symbolic and tangible acts produce credible turns away from past
wrongs? What are the dynamics-psychological, social, and political-whereby we can safely consign an evil to the past? How can public life witness to corporate crimes of the past in such a way that descendents of victims can be confident that they will never be repeated? In his provocative answers to these questions Shriver creates a compelling new vision of the collective repentance and apology that must precede real progress in relations between the races in this country.