In Mohammed Girma (ed.), The Healing of Memories: African Christian Responses to Politically Induced Trauma. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. pp. 137-157 (2018)

Thaddeus Metz
University of Pretoria
I consider the implications of two globally influential love-centred value systems for how to respond to painful memories that are a consequence of large-scale social conflict. More specifically, I articulate a moral-philosophical interpretation of the sub-Saharan worldview of ubuntu, and consider what it entails for responding to such trauma. According to this ethic, one should strive to become a real person, which one can do insofar as one honours those capable of communal (or broadly loving) relationships, ones of identity and solidarity with others. I compare the implications of this ubuntu ethic with those of prominent Christian principles such as the golden rule and the commandment to love one's neighbour, noting some similarities between them, but emphasizing differences. Salient topics addressed are reconciliation with others, reconciliation to one's situation, punishment and forgiveness.
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