Author Samuel Wells
Publisher Canterbury Press £12.99
ISBN 9781786222657 2020
Subtitled ‘The Twelve Steps of Forgiveness’, this short book discusses how individuals and groups can build reconciliation. It is an exploration of twelve steps to peace while acknowledging that peace is a gift from God rather than an achievement. Using passages from scripture, novels and films, consideration is given to the differing values of blaming, repairing and creating. It is neither a self-help manual nor yet a handbook for those seeking to broker reconciliation. It is of value for anyone who wants to think deeply about reconciliation as a form of resurrection through the remembering of an experience or behaviour. This is good background reading for us all. We are taken through the processes by which difference can lead to tension and then on to conflict before escalating into violence and war. In contrast forgiveness comes at the end of the reversal of that chain of responses. As with all Dr Wells’ books, this fizzes with ideas and connections so that preachers will find illustrations and new ways of viewing Christian teaching. Superficially an easy read, there is depth for those taking time to ponder the thesis.
Reviewed by RONA ORME