End of Memory
Remembering Rightly in a Violent World
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Winner of the Christianity Today Book Award in Christianity and Culture
How should we remember atrocities? Should we ever forgive abusers? Can we not hope for final reconciliation, even if it means redeemed victims and perpetrators spending eternity together?
We live in an age that insists that past wrongs—genocides, terrorist attacks, bald personal injustices—should never be forgotten. But Miroslav Volf here proposes the radical idea that letting go of such memories—after a certain point and under certain conditions—may actually be a gift of grace we should embrace. Volf’s personal stories of persecution and interrogation frame his search for theological resources to make memories a wellspring of healing rather than a source of deepening pain and animosity. Controversial, thoughtful, and incisively reasoned, The End of Memory begins a conversation that we avoid to our great detriment.
This second edition includes an appendix on the memories of perpetrators as well as victims, a response to critics, and a James K. A. Smith interview with Volf about the nature and function of memory in the Christian life.
“In this hauntingly autobiographical narrative, Miroslav Volf examines afresh the problems of abuse, memory, and reconciliation, and he concludes that memory, as such, cannot be adjusted to relieve our hurts. But forgetting, rightly understood, provides a healing balm. This is a book of profundity and wisdom, endowed with the authenticity of considerable personal suffering.”
— Sarah Coakley, University of Cambridge