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Racism, anger and the move towards reconciliation: a modest proposal about returning to a stable base

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Racism is still a scourge of our time. Those who find themselves at the centre of this onslaught carry in their hearts and minds centuries of debilitating prejudice, recognising that their own experience of discrimination is simply another stage in its unfolding history and the ongoing social structure which underpins it. Carrying such weight is bound to have a deleterious effect on their personal lives and determines their responses to any discrimination felt and perceived. Reconciliation is required to heal the wounds inflicted by such false representation. I suggest that the Desert Christians offered insights into this matter and offered remedies for reconciliation, all of which constituted a stable base for self-renewal and a solid foundation in the struggle for social justice. Like twentieth-century liberation theologians, reading scripture encouraged them to be confident about finding ways, both personal and social, to be freed from oppression and anger and to support others who desired the same. Perhaps victims of racist abuse and hatred might look to both phenomena in finding possible ways forward for their predicament.
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Keywords: Desert Christians; anger; race; reconciliation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Leeds Trinity University, UK

Publication date: April 3, 2019

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