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No Enemy to Conquer
Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World
By Michael Henderson Foreword by The Dalai Lama
Offering dramatic evidence of the transformative power of forgiveness, No Enemy to Conquer shares the stories of people of diverse faiths and cultures who, despite all odds, found the courage to reconcile with their enemies. Gathering the voices of Desmond Tutu, Benazir Bhutto, Rajmohan Gandhi, Jonathan Sacks, the Dalai Lama, and others, Henderson’s masterful anthology is an inspiring step toward a geopolitics of mercy.
Listen to an hour-long, live interview with Michael Henderson on forgiveness and reconciliation here: http://ktar.com/resources/audio_headlines/audio_player.php?a=9358
Foreword: No Peace without Forgiveness
The Dalai Lama
1 Clash or Alliance?
NIGERIA The Pastor and the Imam
LEBANON Militia enemies step back from the brink
JEWISH-MUSLIM DIALOGUE Honoring Daniel Pearl
DR. DAVID SMOCK: The Process of Forgiveness
JONATHAN SACKS: A Stunningly Original Strategy
2 Reaching Out to ‘The Other’
NORTHERN IRELAND Journey without a map
SOUTH AFRICA After the Heidelberg Tavern Massacre
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE Parents’ Circle – Families Forum
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE Combatants for Peace
GERMANY Meeting the “Monsters of My Dreams”
DR. DONNA HICKS: Dignity for All
DESMOND TUTU: God’s Dream for Humanity
3 Moving Beyond Victimhood
PENNSYLVANIA Before the Blood Had Dried
POLAND Revisiting Auschwitz
GERMANY Norwegian Confronts Nazi Jailer
INDIA Beyond Revenge in Gujarat
RWANDA Tutsi Works for Reconciliation
ENGLAND Liverpool Mother Stirs a Nation
DR. MARGARET SMITH A New Sense of Empowerment
RAJMOHAN GANDHI The Righteous Chariot
4 Taking Responsibility
FIJI God Has No Favorite Race
ISRAEL Asking Questions
SIERRA LEONE No Thirst for Revenge
INDIA Praying for Compassion for the Aggressor
BRITISH-JAPANESE RELATIONS A Tale of Two Flags
DR. MOHAMMED ABU-NIMER: Liberation through Responsibility
BENAZIR BHUTTO The Great Forgiver
5 Creating Safe Space
Switzerland Irène Laure at Caux
DR. BARRY HART Transformative Spaces for Change
BETTY BIGOMBE: What a Woman Can Do
6 Acknowledging the Past
AUSTRALIA National Sorry Day
GERMANY Pforzheim: After the Nightmare
JAVA Dutch POW Diary Changes Japanese Life
GERMANY What about Dresden?
UNITED STATES Restitution to the Nisei
JOSEPH MONTVILLE: The Science Behind Reconciliation
As Henderson himself makes quite clear, his approach is story oriented rather than theoretical, and the heart of his presentation are graphic descriptions of situations in which, after almost unimaginable brutality, some kind of forgiveness and reconciliation arise. His book is also something of a collaborative effort, including short, powerful, and widely varied essays by eleven other “forgiveness activists,” including Desmond Tutu, British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, former Ugandan cabinet minister Betty Bigombe, and a number of committed, engaged academics.
Henderson’s book leads us to ask: What will allow us to see our enemies in a new light that will make forgiveness possible? How can a member of an ethnic or political group who raped your sister or murdered your son become someone “worthy of care,” even if he is no longer a threat? For example: how did Judea Pearl, father of the beheaded-for-the-camera journalist Daniel Pearl, commit himself to public action against the kind of “hatred that took the life of my son,” working with a Muslim peace activist in public settings?
From Henderson we know that there are some common points along the journey.
—Roger S. Gottlieb, Tikkun (January/February 2010)
"A fascinating examination of forgiveness in an unforgiving world."
—Mariana Cantacuzino, The Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2010
"No Enemy to Conquer offers a passionate, well-researched defense of the virtue of forgiveness and its place in healing hate and conflict while establishing peace and justice at a grassroots level all over the world."
—Chicago Crescent, July 2010
"This is a humane and thoughtful guidebook to the troubled times we live in."
—Martin Bell OBE, UNICEF UK Ambassador
"These beautifully written and sensitively told stories of forgiveness and peace should provide inspiration and hope for many readers."
—Trudy Govier, Author of Forgiveness and Revenge and Taking Wrongs Seriously
"This book merits the attention of political leaders and policymakers alike."
—Douglas M. Johnston, President and Founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
"This is a masterful work of a brilliant mind that deserves its place on any bookshelf."
—Musharraf Hussain, Director of the Karimia Institute in Nottingham and Adviser to the Muslim Council of Britain
"Violence and other forms of sin shrink our lives and our imaginations; forgiveness enables them to expand. In this engaging and stimulating book, Michael Henderson tells stories of extraordinary people from around the world whose commitment to forgiveness stirs our imaginations and offers hope for new life in the future—for all of us wise enough to heed their examples."
—L. Gregory Jones, Dean of the Divinity School and Professor of Theology, Duke University
"[These narratives] offer qualitative evidence that a mixture of courage and humility can infuse dialogic encounters with hope that persons of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds can forgive and reconcile rather than perpetuate
—Religious Studies Review (2011, 37:3)
"In this moving book, Michael Henderson tells the stories of people from all parts of the world who have experienecd the transformative power of forgiveness.... A truly remarkable book."
—Catherine Rowland, Book review editor of "Network," the magazine of Women, Word, Spirit
"Henderson's style in this richly personal book is fluent, accessible and immensely readable. It does not hide from the suffering of the world but movingly claims that healing as possible."
—Interreligious Insight (2011, 9:2)
Michael Henderson is a freelance journalist. He is the author of nine books, including, most recently See You After the Duration (2004) and Forgiveness: Breaking the Chain of Hate (2002). He lives in England.