March 10, 2014 Editor

Restorative Justice and International State Conflict Scholar-In-Residence Public Lecture Saint Paul University, September 13, 2007

The title was of a wonderful song by singer/songwriter, Ken Medema, from his album, “In the Dragon’s Jaws” (no date), that I played at the end of the presentation.

The occasion?: The end of a six-month sabbatical (April to September 2007) wherein I was the first (guinea pig!) “Scholar-In-Residence” at the above university in their Conflict Studies Department. The university is the oldest in Canada, with the most extensive theological library in North America. It was the only requirement from the side of the university for my complete “faculty” access to its library, and my use of an office just down the hallway from the library entrance.

It was a wonderful experience! A BIG thanks to my friend Vern Redekop for having facilitated it!

An excerpt:

Introduction: On Seeing

I have a thought experiment ….

Can you imagine yourself into a time of belief that the earth was actually the centre of the known universe? Imagine living through a time of transition to a different belief about the known universe: that in fact the earth revolved around the sun?

Wouldn’t such a sea change of perception about the universe somewhat blow you away?

That would be a scientific moment of overwhelming transformational magnitude in your life; what Thomas Kuhn called a “scientific revolution”.

I could run this again concerning all kinds of changes of perception: headhunting one’s enemies for instance to a time of seeing it as wrong; or the horrific treatment of Black slaves in the antebellum U.S. to viewing them as equals: anthropological and cultural upheavals of overwhelming transformational magnitude in each case.

Can you get a little sense at least of how something can seem SO right, scientifically, anthropologically, culturally, and so on, because of lifetime and often multi-generational societal formation and reinforcement, which afterwards seems so UTTERLY wrong, seen in a different light?

I hope that can become Western society’s experience about resort to state violence.

Please click on: Is There A Place For Dreaming?

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Editor

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.
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