After-words: Post-Holocaust Struggles with Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Justice
More than fifty years after it ended, the Holocaust continues to leave survivors and their descendants, as well as historians, philosophers, and theologians, searching for words to convey the enormity of that event. Efforts to express its realities and its impact on successive generations often stretch language to the breaking point--or to the point of silence. Words whose meaning was contested before the Holocaust prove even more fragile in its wake.
David Patterson and John K. Roth identify three such "after-words": forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice. These words, though forever altered by the Holocaust, are still spoken and heard. But how should the concepts they represent be understood? How can their integrity be restored within the framework of current philosophical and, especially, religious traditions? Writing in a format that creates the feel of dialogue, the nine contributors toAfter-Wordstackle these and other difficult questions about the nature of memory and forgiveness after the Holocaust to encourage others to participate in similar inter- and intrafaith inquiries.
The contributors toAfter-Wordsare members of the Pastora Goldner Holocaust Symposium. Led since its founding in 1996 by Leonard Grob and Henry Knight, the symposium's Holocaust and genocide scholars--a group that is interfaith, international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational--meet biennially in Oxfordshire, England.
David Pattersonis Bornblum Chair in Judaic Studies, University of Memphis.John K. Rothis Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College. They are both editors of and contributors toAfter-Words. The other contributors are Rachel N. Baum, Britta Frede-Wenger, Leonard Grob, Peter J. Haas, Henry F. Knight, Juergen Manemann, and Didier Pollefeyt.
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