11 February 2010

Book: Reconciliation: The Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu

A revised and updated edition of Michael Battle's "Reconciliation: The Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu" was published by Pilgrim Press in July 2009. It contains a foreword by Desmond Tutu and an afterword by Katharine Jefferts Schori:


Publisher's description: "Reconciliation is Battle's highly original analysis of Bishop Tutu's theology of ubuntu – an African concept recognizing that persons and groups form their identities in relation to one another. This model proved successful in opposing the apartheid racism in South Africa, but it also offers a Christian paradigm for resisting oppression wherever it appears. Using a wide range of primary sources from Tutu, as well as a number of secondary sources, Battle shows Tutu as not only a dynamic preacher and at times an unwilling politician, but a genuinely committed theologian whose deepest roots are in prayer and protest."

From the back cover of the 1997 edition: "The author also looks at Bishop Tutu against the backdrop of major traditions in Western theology (specifically, Calvinist and Anglican) and, especially, contemporary liberation theologies (including those of James Cone and Itumeleng Mosala) — underscoring the ways in which Tutu's theology comes out of the particularity of the black South African experience."

Endorsement: "Will appeal to a broad readership in the academy and the church. Persons interested in social justice issues will find it especially provocative because it speaks volumes about the ways in which conflicting human identities can be approached and addressed in theory and practice. In this age of mounting emphasis on issues of diversity and multiculturalism, a more relevant and timely work is unthinkable." (Lewis V. Baldwin, Vanderbilt University)

Michael Battle, Rector of the Church of Our Saviour in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, was an adjudant to Archbishop Tutu from 1993 to 1994. He earned his PhD from Duke University.

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