War, oppression, and injustice define reality for vast numbers of the world's people. In the last one hundred years alone, more that 200 million people have been killed as a consequence of systematic repression, political revolutions, ethnic or religious war. The legacy of such violence lingers long after the immediate conflict subsides, often begetting subsequent waves of conflict well before any real and lasting reconciliation has taken place. Drawing on the experiences of his native El Salvador, the author puts the insights of Latin American liberation theology in service of a systematic study of reconciliation. This first book-length study to propose a liberationist theology of reconciliation builds on Jon Sobrino's Christology to construct a Christian discipleship inspired by Jesus' merciful praxis and the eschatological values of God's Kingdom. This spirituality prioritizes the contribution of the victims in the process of reconciliation and envisions a Christian praxis that upholds both the need for personal forgiveness and the social restoration of justice without favoring one value at the expense of the other. The book urges Christians to follow the structure of Jesus' life and to engage conflicted reality with the same spirit of honesty, fidelity, and trust that empowered his life. In turn, this reconciling spirituality sets the foundations for a theology of reconciliation from a liberationist perspective: one that is rooted in God's revealed truth, mercy, and justice. This thorough effort to offer the insights of Christian Liberation theology to the struggle for social reconciliation brings a fresh and vital vision to the urgent and necessary discussion of social reconciliation.
Liberation Through Reconciliation by O. Ernesto Valiente was published by Fordham University Press in October 2015. The ISBN for Liberation Through Reconciliation is 9780823268870.