Unless societies that emerge from an unjust past remove injustice at the roots, the weeds of alienation and fragmentation will return and choke the hope for reconciliation.
This is at the core of Allan Boesak’s book, Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism, co-authored with Curtis Paul DeYoung.
It was launched at Stellenbosch University’s Theology Faculty chapel on Thursday night.
Boesak said that many white South Africans were comfortable with superficial reconciliation that did not deal with issues of redress and justice.
He said that the issue of Africans’s land dispossession could not be ignored if true reconciliation is to take place. “We should be firm about the restoration of land to the dispossessed.”
In an exclusive interview with the Cape Times, Boesak said that the ANC was “guilty of political pietism”.
According to the book “political pietism” is this type of reconciliation that is presented as if it does respond to the needs for genuine reconciliation and employs a language that sounds like the truth but is, “in fact, deceitful”.
said: “Ordinary and poor people are deeply disillusioned. They hoped that by baring their souls and wounds, something genuine would happen in South Africa but it did not.”
In his foreword, Archbishop Emeritus Mpilo Desmond Tutu, says the book makes a strong argument that reconciliation should be more than political accommodation, the result of negotiation, or the achievement of an equilibrium of interests.