February 26, 2014 Editor

Restorative Justice and Spiritual Origins

November 19, 2004

WN: I cannot recall where this was published/presented. A similar article also on this website (“Restorative Justice Stories – MCCC 50th Anniversary, December 14, 2013”) was presented nine years later in Winnipeg exactly on the MCCC 50th anniversay weekend, and on the occasion of the launching of Esther Epp-Tiessen’s book, Mennonite Central Committee in Canada.

An excerpt:

Anthropologist René Girard notes: “In the Hebrew Bible, there is clearly a dynamic that moves in the direction of the rehabilitation of the victims, but it is not a cut-and-dried thing. Rather, it is a process under way, a text in travail; it is not a chronologically progressive process, but a struggle that advances and retreats. I see the Gospels as the climactic achievement of that trend, and therefore as the essential text in the cultural upheaval of the modern world (Violent Origins, Robert Hamerton-Kelly, Stanford: Stanford University
Press. 1987, p. 141).”

If Girard is right, part of that “cultural upheaval” is restorative (transformative) justice.

Please click on: Restorative Justice and Spiritual Origins

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.