Augsburg Fortress

When the Powers Fall: Reconciliation in the Healing of Nations

When the Powers Fall: Reconciliation in the Healing of Nations

Repressive authoritarian regimes are falling and fragile new democracies are emerging around the globe. How are long-standing conflicts and deep divisions to be healed and enemies reconciled without breeding further injustices?

To answer this question, Walter Wink here applies his compelling analysis of "the Powers," as they appear in the New Testament, to the global scene. Surveying the wrenching religious and ethical dilemmas involved in transitions from despotism to democracy, Wink neatly summarizes key concepts from his Fortress Press trilogy on the Powers, including sections on "Jesus against Domination" and "Nonviolence." He then shows how central concepts in the teaching of Jesus can clarify true and false ideas of forgiveness and reconciliation and apology – without sacrificing justice. The personal, political, and geopolitical pertinence of Wink's ideas shines in his discussion of specific situations in Africa and Latin America.

And what of the churches? "Jesus" proclamation of God's domination – free order," Wink claims, "provides a framework for dealing with the role of the churches in helping nations move from autocracy to democracy. Far more is at stake than merely an orderly transition to a more representative form of governance: such moments in history open up to heavenly potentials. ... In such times, it is the vision of God's domination-free order that prevents us from acquiescing to unworthy visions, or accepting political compromises as anything more than temporary pauses on the path to fuller justice."

Wink's new work demonstrates the power, promise, and practicality of Jesus' ethic of nonviolence for today.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800631277
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 96
  • Publication Date February 12, 1998


"Jesus' vision of a domination-free order enables us to see every struggle against injustice, illness, and greed as part of a single front, and gives us a perspective that links us to everyone engaged in similar struggles."
– from the Preface

Table of Contents

1. Against Domination
The Reign of God
Jesus against Domination
Economic Equality

2. Reconciliation
What Is Reconciliation?
True and False Forgiveness
Reconciliation as Process
True and FAlse Reconciliation

3. Issues of Reconciliation
Truth and Impunity
The Place of Apology

Toward Democracy