Elective Unit                                          (Min. No. 8)

1st semester Thursday evening                         


This unit presents an analysis of Christian understandings of reconciliation in three dimensions: vertical (between persons and God), horizontal (persons among themselves), and cosmic (between persons and the created world). A key focus is on the horizontal dimension of reconciliation referring to God’s healing of groups and societies hurt deeply by injustice, oppression and discrimination. Divine reconciliation connects with, and becomes a part of, secular social reconciliation. Students will explore truth-telling, struggling for justice and working toward forgiveness as the three vital elements of the social process of reconciliation that aims at healing, studying various national reconciliations as exemplars.



At least two units in Moral Theology including one at level two



Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a clear understanding of Christian reconciliation
  2. expound the relationship between religious reconciliation and secular reconciliation
  3. demonstrate understanding of the dynamic relationship between truth, forgiveness, justice, healing and reconciliation
  4. evaluate secular social reconciliation as a process and a goal
  5. manifest understanding of the complexity of the process of seeking justice and loving mercy
  6. demonstrate the uniqueness of each process of forgiveness and reconciliation
  7. identify the ways and means that are likely to start breaking the endless cycle of violence



2000 word essay (30%); 4000 word essay (70%)



Bloomfield, David, Teresa Barnes and Luc Huyse, eds., Reconciliation after Violent Conflict: A Handbook. Stockholm: International Institute for Democracy & Electoral Assistance, 2003.

Cantacuzino, Marina. The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015.

O’Sullivan, Dominic. Faith, Politics and Reconciliation: Catholicism and the Politics of

Indigeneity. Adelaide, SA: ATF Press, 2005.

Pollefeyt, Didier ed. Incredible Forgiveness: Christian Ethics between Fanaticism and Reconciliation. Leuven: Peeters, 2004.

Pope Francis I. Misericordiae vultus, 2015.

_________. Amoris laetitia, 2016.

Schreiter, Robert J. Reconciliation: Mission and Ministry in a Changing Social Order. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1992.

________. The Ministry of Reconciliation: Spirituality and Strategies. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998.

Szablowinski, Zenon. “The Dynamic Relationship between Roman Catholic Reconciliation and Social Reconciliation in Chile and South Africa.” D. Theol. diss. Melbourne College of Divinity, 2004.

Voiss, James K. Rethinking Christian Forgiveness: Theological, Philosophical, and Psychological Explorations. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015.

Volf, Miroslav. Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1996.


Lecturer:                 ZENON SZABLOWINSKI SVD