Mpho Tutu van Furth, Joseph Sebarenzi, and Deidre Green’s presentations are now available to watch online: “Forgiveness & Reconciliation: A Maxwell Institute Symposium.”
Because we live in an imperfect world, each of us will need to forgive others and each of us will need to be forgiven. Perhaps we can easily practice forgiveness for everyday mistakes, but what about unspeakable acts of cruelty and violence? Sometimes we risk making the practice of forgiveness too easy. How can we work to make forgiveness more meaningful?
Mpho Tutu van Furth, Joseph Sebarenzi, Lisa Faulkner-Byrne, and Deidre Nicole Green have thought deeply about what forgiveness and reconciliation look like in the contexts of Rwanda, South Africa, and Ireland. At this symposium they examine forgiveness and reconciliation in diverse contexts and illuminate principles that apply more universally to everyday life.
Co-sponsored by BYU’s Kennedy Center–African Studies and BYU Law. Note: Lisa Faulkner-Byrne’s presentation was not recorded.
About the Participants
Mpho Tutu van Furth served as executive director at The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation from 2011 to 2016. With her father, Desmond Tutu (former archbishop of South Africa, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient), she co-authored The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World (HarperCollins, 2015). The book examines the question of what the Tutus learned about forgiveness from their life experience of dealing with national conflict and explores the question that pertains to all human beings on both personal and political levels, namely: How do we forgive? In 2014, the father and daughter pair started the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge, an internet resource that guides people through the steps of forgiveness. They have used their method to help heal nations such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Rwanda.
Joseph Sebarenzi is the former Speaker of the Rwandan Parliament (1997-2000), a visiting professor at SIT Graduate Institute, a motivational speaker, and author of several book chapters and articles. He also authored his widely acclaimed memoir, God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation (Atria Books, 2009), which has been published in the United States, the U.K., and Japan. He served as adviser to the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the United States Department of Justice, and currently works as a Research Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services at the Homeland Security.
Deidre Nicole Green is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. She earned a PhD in Religion from Claremont Graduate University, after receiving a Master of the Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School and a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy from BYU. She is the author of Works of Love in a World of Violence (Mohr Siebeck, 2016) and “Radical Forgiveness” in Love and Justice (forthcoming from Mohr Siebeck, 2018).