Our regular Sunday Gathering. An opportunity for wisdom, joy, solace, and community – followed by a healthy dose of caffeine, cake, and conversation. Gatherings include live music, a story for children, singing, poetry and literature, a talk, and time for sharing joys and sorrows.
The theme of this week's Gathering is 'Between Nuremberg & Johannesburg: Retribution and Reconciliation', led by New Unity member Qaisar Siddiqui.
Following the collapse of apartheid rule in South Africa, the question of how to come to terms with the gross human rights violations that punctuated the waning decades of National Party rule was answered with the establishment of the Truth And Reconciliation Commission.
By offering full, public disclosure of their crimes, human rights abusers - regardless of their role in the struggle for freedom in South Africa - could be offered amnesty. This method of restorative justice sharply contrasts with the retribution model of the Nuremberg trials after World War II.
While considered a success in its part for democratising the new South Africa, many have critiqued the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for its comparative ineffectiveness. Apologies and disclosure alone may simply be part of, rather than the whole, process of justice, and in this message, we consider the extent to which reconciliation, in both political and personal contexts, can ever be enough.