The unique desire of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to turn its back on revenge and to create a space where deeper processes of "forgiveness, confession, repentance, reparation, and reconciliation can take place" reflects the spirit of some churches and faith communities in South Africa. Facing the Truth: South African Faith Communities and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, published in North America by Ohio University Press on November 1, 1999, is a candid study of the historical notes that formed that difficult process, which continues to be a struggle of theological and philosophical importance within faith communities.
This book contains extracts of faith communities' testimonies before the TRC, and individual writers in Facing the Truth bring their unique voices to bear on the complex matter of healing wounds. The writers tell powerful stories, such as of meeting former torturers face-to-face: "He asked me to forgive him. It was one of the most difficult requests, perhaps the single most difficult, ever made to me. No matter how much I wanted to, I could not tell him that I could forgive him. All I could say was that I would try."
Dr. Stephen W. Martin is a professor of Theology at The King's University.